Jammu and Kashmir’s Walnut Industry Under Threat

Video By: Basharat Amin | Article By: Nusrat Ali

The State of Jammu and Kashmir is well known for the production of various types of fruits like apple, cherry, pear, apricots and in dry fruits category it takes the lead in the walnut production in India. Walnuts became the viable horticulture industry in India since 1980’s particularly in the valley of Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir occupy almost 90 percent share of the walnut industry in India. The provisional data released by the National Horticulture Board shows that Jammu and Kashmir produced 206.43 thousand metric tons of walnut with an area under its cultivation of 69.24 thousand hectares in comparison to it.
“In Kashmir valley, walnut is grown over an area of 47507 hectares with an annual production of 185626 Metric Tons in the year 2017-18.”

Walnut produced in Jammu and Kashmir is being organic in nature as no fertilizers and sprays are used on the walnut plants. Also being high in nutrients with immense health benefits, Kashmiri walnut has seen growing demand and acceptability in the domestic and international market.

Today the people associated with this industry are facing a range of issues almost at every stage – from the plantation of trees to the marketing of this product. India has a handsome share of walnut trade in the global market but the unregulated market and low import duty have created havoc in this dry fruit.

The competition from the foreign suppliers especially from California and Chile is increasing at a very fast rate. The exports are not growing with the comfortable rate due to the reduction in the production and most important the absence of the export-oriented strategies bring this walnut industry at the back foot.

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