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Walnut Growers and Traders Suffer Losses Due to Lock-downs in Kashmir

Due to the lockdown imposed by the Indian government after the abrogation of article 370 of the Indian constitution which granted special status to this Himalayan region, people associated with the horticulture industry have been going through huge losses, as the harvested crops failed to reach Indian and international markets due to the lockdown and curfews in 2019. This didn’t go well for farmers this year also, as the regular lockdowns amid the coronavirus pandemic brought the life to a standstill.

We were restricted to our homes after the curfew was imposed last year and this year there is a pandemic

Fewer market rates are making these traders and growers incur losses in millions,. Political instability and corruption are considered to be the reasons for falling rates. The government in the past has often failed to have a farmer-friendly policy.

it is a hard work and takes a lot of energy and time and we are often not allowed ourselves to export the walnut to other markets of India except for Jammu markets

The people have been demanding from the government a compensation package for the losses suffered last year and this year, but the government has so far failed. Pertinently, more than 2.66 lakh metric tonnes of walnuts are cultivated on 89,000 hectares per year in Jammu and Kashmir which contributes over 98% of dry fruit’s total production in India. Given the huge share of walnuts, people face hardships as the rates are quite low which discourages them year after year in continuing with the cultivation. This business was entirely down last year after the Central government enforced a strict lockdown with the abrogation of the erstwhile State’s special status and now the COVID-19 pandemic has played a spoiler in lowering down the prices further.

About the author

Sajad Rasool

Editor - Kashmir Unheard

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