Srinagar, June 11 : The Horticulture Department of Jammu and Kashmir Government has introduced hi-tech green houses technology along with high yielding dwarf varieties in a bid to double the state's walnut production.
The farmers in the valley are not very enthusiastic about growing of walnut trees because of their long gestation period of more than 10-15 years. It is also because of their huge size which makes sizable portion of land under them unfit for inter-cropping.
The department has already planted 4000 dwarf walnut trees in the green houses.
Moreover in these green houses, temperatures can be kept constant at 34-35 degree all round the year besides maintain optimum moisture level, which can be ideal for the walnut cultivation.
The introduction of new high yielding varieties has generated hope among the farmers.
"After planting these dwarf walnut trees, there will be a great improvement. I suggest that all the farmers should plant these trees because they will benefit a lot after planting them. These dwarf walnut trees after 1-2 years start yielding a good quantity of walnuts. As compared to the existing walnut trees growing in open, these dwarf walnut trees are a better option," said Gulam Rasool, a farmer.
Kashmiri walnut is superior in quality and thus in great demand both in the national and international markets.
"We export walnuts valued at two billion rupees from Kashmir valley. We can cross this export figure soon if we start planting the varieties, which are planted in these hi-tech green houses. Our production will double or even triple." said Asifa Nabi, in-charge, hi-tech green house.
Thousands of people are associated with the walnut trade in the state.