Strawberry farmers in Kashmir expecting huge profits

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Srinagar, May 20 (ANI): Timely rain in the valley region of Jammu and Kashmir is expected to fetch ample profits to the growers of strawberry fruits.

According to the Horticulture Department, a bumper yield of this tasty fruit is expected this year.

Kashmir valley, which is famous for apples, is now fast emerging as India's largest producer of strawberries.

A new concept of strawberry farming has become quite popular among the traditional farmers of paddy in the valley since the fruits fetch them more profits than rice.

Strawberry is the first fruit in Kashmir valley that grows after the six months of harsh winters.

"This is the first crop after winters. This year, due to timely rain, strawberry production is good and will yield good profits to us," said Aijaz Mir, a grower of strawberries.

Encouraged by the farmers' interest in cultivating strawberries, the Horticulture Department is helping them with numerous other inputs for better production.

"For growth and development, it is good if farmers focus on strawberry farming. This is the first fruit, which comes after winter here. We can process and prepare jam, juice and jellies from it and also it is very good for health," said G N Kumar, Planning Officer Horticulture, Department, Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar.

The roots of strawberry plants spread out close to the surface. The soil requires well supplied moisture and saplings should be kept free from weeds and other pests.

The Horticulture Department has prompted the farmers to be actively involved in the entire process ranging from cultivation to its packaging and marketing. By Parvez Butt (ANI)

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