Walnuts from the Kashmir Valley are exported not only to other states but also all over the world. About 2.66 lakh metric tons of walnuts are grown in Jammu and Kashmir in an area covering 89,000 hectares every year. More than 98 percent of the total walnuts grown in India come from Jammu and Kashmir.
Walnut yield in Kashmir
Walnut production in the Kashmir Valley has dropped considerably this year due to climate change. Cashmere nuts have enjoyed a good demand in the domestic and international markets.
Jammu and Kashmir is the main walnut-producing region in the country, producing around 2.66 lakh metric tons from 89,000 hectares of land. It contributes to more than 98% of the total walnut production in India. This occurs at the cost of human lives.
In Kashmir, the nuts are grown in Kupwara, Shopian, Baramulla, Budgam, Srinagar, Anantnag and other hilly areas. There are three varieties of nuts grown in Kashmir.
The nuts in Kashmir are organically grown, which means that no chemical sprays or fertilizers are used in their cultivation. Kashmir nuts are popular throughout India and are exported to the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and France, among many other countries.
According to Foreign Agriculture Science, US Department of Agriculture, during 2018-19, India imported 13,640.49 metric tons of walnuts at Rs 267.86 crore. Imports rose sharply next year, 2019-20, to 21,305.23 metric tons at Rs 494.93 crore. Last year, imports nearly doubled to 35,021.54 metric tons at a cost of Rs 667.16 crore.
Lack of infrastructures
Kashmir was once the second-largest grower of walnuts in the world, while today it does not even rank in the top ten. The problems faced by the Kashmir nut industry are the lack of infrastructures such as transport, power supply and packing facilities and the absence of markets for dried fruit.
In addition, there are no strategies to boost the export of walnuts and with the introduction of the GST, producers have to bear additional costs.
Countries like China grow their own nuts, while other countries no longer import nuts from India, so the walnut business in Kashmir has suffered huge losses.
Climate change has caused major changes in the production and quality of these crops and in the lives of farmers who depend on the products of these crops.
According to the 2013-2014 annual publication of the Directorate of Economics and Statistics of the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, climate change has affected the production of major crops in the region, such as rice, maize, wheat, barley, pulses and oilseeds. , along with various fruits
Reduced rainfall and rising temperatures due to rapid temperature rise due to climate change have reduced production and marketing of horticultural crops.
Two horticultural crops, saffron and walnut, are suffering from the negative effects of climate change.
The threat of climate change can be overcome through innovative research methods in agriculture, such as the development of heat-tolerant varieties and modification of the management of the production system.
To overcome the challenges and problems posed by climate change in the agricultural sector, from raising awareness and raising awareness to innovative research and technology can be beneficial and restore lost production and quality of the crop.
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