Exotic vegetable cultivation picks up in Jammu and Kashmir

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Gopalpura (Jammu and Kashmir), Aug 29(ANI): Vegetable farmers in Jammu and Kashmir have opted for cultivation of exotic vegetables, as it has turned out to be more beneficial to them than growing the indigenously grown varieties.

Mohammed Shafi, a farmer and a seed dealer from capital Srinagar has been experimenting with the cultivation of exotic vegetable varieties bringing most of the seeds from European Union nations.

Shafi has been growing varieties like red cabbage, savoy type cabbage, green rocket, Broccoli, B Sprouts, red fire lettuce and a host of others.

He also claims that the medicinal values of these vegetables are very high and are used in curing different kinds of ailments like the stomach ulcer.

"It has good medicinal values. I read in an American journal about the medicinal value of Broccoli which helps to cure a big disease like stomach ulcers. It has food value and medicinal value hence people are now slowly getting aware of its benefits," said Shafi.

Meanwhile, Bashir Ahmed Dar, Director of Agriculture department of Jammu and Kashmir, believes that the farmers in the state are steadily getting aware of the potential in cultivating these varieties.

Dar also said that the clientele of these vegetables is the upper middle class due to which the prices are high.

"They are very good vegetables hence we thought of introducing it here. We have broccoli, lettuce, Chinese cabbage and gradually people are consuming it. However, its consumption is among the people from the high society. There is a demand of these vegetables in hotels and also from the tourists coming here," Dar said.

It is believed that Jammu and Kashmir can be a vast market for such vegetables as the valley has a seasonal edge over other states

These vegetables have an advantage of withstanding temperature fluctuations during the spring in Kashmir. They mature in lesser number of days than the open pollinated types. By Parvez Bhatt(ANI)

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