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JammuRamban coming up as walnut producing district of Jammu region

Ramban coming up as walnut producing district of Jammu region

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Ramban coming up as walnut producing district of region

Anil Bhatt

Ramban (J&K), Dec 8 (PTI) The Ramban district in Jammu region is coming up as a new belt for superior quality of walnuts besides the region, known for producing best quality of the nuts.

“No doubt, Kashmir province is well known for producing the walnut but at the same time it is very right to say that district Ramban can also produce superior qualities of walnut”, Chief Horticulture Officer, Ramban, Lokesh Bali told PTI.

The walnut is also produced in some parts of district Doda, Kishtwar, Rajouri, Poonch including the hilly regions of district Reasi, but among all these districts, top production of walnut comes from Ramban, Bali said.

The district accounts for Rs 80 crores of walnut sales annually, he said.

Giving further details, Bali said that the major crop grown in this district is walnut. “Around 5,193.70 hectare of land is being used for developing walnut orchards and around 7247.17 metric tons of production was made in 2015-16”, he said.

Bali said that to showcase the success of the department a film has been shot on walnut production in the district, which got boost to rural .

This clearly vindicates that there is a big potential for growing wide varieties of walnut. Major walnut growing areas are Pogal Paristan, Senabati, Hochak, Panchal, Trigam, Neel and Sangaldan. In these areas the farmers are earning a good livelihood from the walnut cultivation, the official said.

Mohammad Ashraf Khan, who was serving in a bank, resigned from the job and set up a walnut processing unit in Banihal belt of the district and has launched three brands of walnuts.

“He has changed the economy of the farmers in Ramba”, Bali said. The walnut processing has employed around 150 people including boys and girls, he said.

The owner of the unit said that walnut worth of crores is purchased every year from local farmers for the markets in Jammu, Delhi, Chennai, Gujarat.

“From Pogal Paristan walnut is sold from the plants which are grown with the help of locally prepared manure,” said Bashir Ahmed Naik an orchardist of Maligam, Ramban.

Walnut trees normally give rise to fresh shoots during April and May when new leaves sprout and flowers blossom. The ripening of crop takes place in the months of September and October.

“I purchase walnuts of crores from Gool, Sangaldan, Pogal Paristan, Neel, Khari, Banihal. Besides this I also collected the crop from Doda and Kishtwar but the best quality of walnut is found in Ramban whose kernel is good in size and taste,” said Farooq Ahmed Wani, a fruit contractor.

Another fruit contractor namely Abdul Subhan told that he had purchased walnut from Alanbas, Maligam and Pogal and sold in the Jammu market whose kernel is of higher quality.

“The department authorities regularly visit the orchards and spread awareness about the methods and local ways of growing the walnut plants”, Bali said.

Ramban is one of the hilly districts in the state, endowed with appropriate climatic conditions for fostering plants and trees.

Out of the total land in the district, 10461.94 hectares has been utilized for growing fruit and nut trees. In the year 2015-16, 19742 metric tons of production was recorded. This shows that horticulture sector is bringing sea change in the life of local people day by day, Bali said.

“There are four nurseries of Walnut, peach, apple and pecan nut at Gool, Sangaldan, Batote and Nowgam to promote plantation in these areas. In these nurseries better quality of plants are grown with the help of grafting”, Bali said.

“From these nurseries plants are provided to the people on very low rates. Every year there is a continuous expansion in planting different types of fruit bearing trees and now people are finding better financial avenues in horticulture sector”, he added.

Moreover, walnuts are more nutritious than the almond, thus more and more stress should be laid on the expansion of walnut orchards.

“Therefore, it is the need of the hour to expand fruit crop cultivation mainly the walnut to boost the economic potential of this district besides developing fruit processing units, kernel extraction units and fruit drier units to improve the export”, a senior officer of the district said.

 

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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