I am here to share and hear the views of people placed at same wave length

Archive for April, 2017

Good morning

Start the day with the charming facevto spread happiness around.

Internet still banned in Kashmir so seem we are caged as if in stone age.

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Truth and reconciliation

The Case For A Truth And Reconciliation Commission in Kashmir

Every time one thinks that life in Kashmir has returned to its normal course and hopes that no more innocent lives are lost, the hope gets mercilessly shattered with news of young boys dying in protests. Death is not new to Kashmir. Here seasons’ change, moods change, governments change but the only thing that remains constant is the loss of innocent life. Since the nineties, fake encounters, extra-judicial killings, internal displacements, disappearances etc have marred the struggle for a permanent solution of the conflict. Unfortunately, in focussing on the political aspects of the discourse, the concept of justice to the people, has taken a backseat. 


The recent deaths of eight young civilians on the polling day once again underscores the need move beyond the sovereignty versus azaadi debate or even the embittered dynamics of the neighbourhood territorial dispute and mend fences closer home, before the embers of dissatisfaction spill over the streets again.The narrative should shift stance on justice dispensation, a crucial facet, which is often ignored by the political class and state institutions alike. Pursuing the idea of justice in the strife torn landscape of Kashmir is a particularly tricky proposition for several reasons. Yet this is precisely why, delivering justice is imperative to the reconciliation process and rebuilding strained relations in this protracted conflict. 

Invoking transitional justice that is armed with both judicial and non-judicial remedies such as fact finding and truth-telling initiatives, criminal prosecutions, reparation processes, vetting and institutional reform can perhaps alleviate the long festering wounds of the Kashmiri people. 

In terms of a concrete measure, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission can be established, by the central legislature aided by International jurists, as a sincere manifestation of its commitment towards addressing the massive human rights abuses that have plagued Kashmir over decades, with an eye on restoring the dignity of individuals. 

CONSTITUTION OF THE TRC 

Historically TRCs are instituted by the State/regime in power, post the conflict period. This has been cited as a reason to keep its formation in abeyance, given the ongoing armed conflict and widespread civil unrest in Kashmir. However, the open ended nature of the Commission’s mandate offers a window of opportunity, if the period to be probed pertains to the past, say the troubled nineties. So a specific mandate, with an inclusive term of reference, that cover actions by state as well as armed non state actors to investigate and document the truth behind the dark period in the Valley’s past, namely, the forced disappearances, the unmarked graves, the pandit exodus and the extra judicial killings in detention camps, may open the door for justice that has long eluded Kashmir. 

Further an effective reparations policy is a must, as it comprises the most tangible efforts of atonement, bearing a direct impact on the victim’s welfare. Official public apologies, a specialised health care program for survivors, pension for victims and victims’ families, rehabilitation of the internally displaced persons as well as symbolic reparation via identification of the mass graves, memorialisation of victims, publicly listing names of the disappeared and the dead, disclosure of offenders’ names and vetting in official posts to avoid recidivism are important measures in redressing past abuses and regaining the lost trust. 

Equally, holding public hearings to record testimonies of victims, witnesses and perpetrators to officially acknowledge the truth must not be underscored as it has unparalleled effects on the sufferers’, survivors’, their families’ and the community’s psyche by providing due recognition of wrongs, creating an authoritative record, according responsibility and lifting the veil of impunity that offender’s enjoy by naming and shaming. 

For the government, it provides the opportunity to shoulder meaningful responsibility of addressing the judicial aspect of a political problem that has been long skirted. Effectively it can extinguish long standing fires of distrust and alienation, while disengaging from the larger political scenario that requires a consensus, which is hard to achieve at present. Further, it strikes the right balance between maintaining the State’s authority and public accountability, while circumventing the question of allowing third party involvement, which has been the subject of much debate, thereby avoiding all discordant notes. If successfully executed, it would amount to revitalising a moribund dialogue, significantly boosting the government’s credibility in the valley and would bring about a holistic closure for the masses while reiterating the state’s obligation towards fostering reconciliation with the people. 

The role of the media is crucial in unearthing and dissemination of facts and walking the thin line to maintain a balanced and objective coverage without becoming polarised in its narrative. Significant media initiatives include documentaries on the report with the aim of contributing towards building a collective memory and educating the masses. For example, the report of the Argentine National Commission on the Disappeared (Nunca Mas meaning Never Again), is widely used for civic education and reprinted in various formats. 

No doubt for its critics transitional justice with its emphasis on restorative rather than retributive justice, particularly in the context of systematic human rights abuses can seem like too little too late. However its benefits may outweigh its misgivings. Its flexibility allows for an efficacious justice delivery within the contours of the socio-political ground reality. Moreover, as an official agency, it lends the much needed stamp of legitimacy and state recognition needed to restore public faith in the rule of law and equality before law. It should therefore be viewed as an opportunity to leverage access to justice that has remained a mirage for the average Kashmiri, rather than an outright denial of justicprerequisite for the process. An onus on truth seeking instead of obliterating facts and figures, armins the power to hold soteallowistatements tform the basis of criminal prosecutions where grave crimes have been committed and providing adequate resources such as legal support staff are critical to piece together a comprehensive, well documented history of past abuses and atrocities. 

Finally, the report itself should be considered an important national document, its recommendations implemented in letter and spirit, with the long term aim of reconciling a divisive society with a deeply troubled past. This includes inter alia reforms of state institutions and policies by reviewing acts like AFSPA that bestow sweeping powers and have the tendency to turn into draconian laws if left unfettered, if proposed by the Commission. 

Azaadi can mean several things to several people – for those who’ve suffered and seen wrong without justice being meted out, it could well mean having access to justice, even if restorative.


THE STORY OF STONE PELTER OF KASHMIR

I hurled stones because i do it for a

 cause.I have done it earlier and i will continue to do it,no matter how many are wounded and how many are killed.
I know  i am risking my own life.I  know i too can be hit by a bullet anything,so be it.
Compared to lethally armed police force i am  unarmed and know that my stone  can not kill the man with gun but his bullet will kill me clean.
There is nobody around to tell me this..They say i will be martyred if i die.
I am provoked by everything around me.My age that is too unripe to understand the danger i push  myself into,my leadership that is too immature to envisage the disaster,my cheerleaders who had already outsourced noble job to me,my state that elsewhere performs the role of a protector but here shoots to kill,,my police force that sees me as a tool to fetch themselves the promotion and a rank-everything added to my rage and frustration.
I am both victim and a criminal,the killer and killed.Whatever problem i have blood as the only solution to offer.How small or how long,how important and how cheap the issue,i don’t know and i don’t care.
I have lost the sense of mourning,the sense of loss.My supporters are quick to condemn anything from the smallest to gravest but don’t have a damn word against me.
I hold my people hostage.i can maim them,kill them or set them free.My choice.
States Are protectors but here state is a  combatant.Elsewhere i demand life as a right but i demand death as a right.
My story is incredibly tragic. I am caught in a  double whammy.They kill me and i kill my own people.Those who watch my gallantry with silence call the damage i do as collateral.
That ironically absolves me of all i do.I know elections don’t matter.Who wins who loses who cares but no event can pass without consuming the.

 human life .
blood is the fuel without which the engine of our politics can not run.Blood is the music that runs a movie called Kashmir.Blood is the colour without which our story is colorless.

Impact of MIS on export of apples in Kashmir

A Brief Profile 

On the Impact of 

Apple production and its exports

Outside the state by the 

Introduction of Marketing Intervention 

Scheme (MIS)   
In 
JAMMU & KASHMIR STATE 
By:  

Mukhtar Ahmad Khan 

Assistant Grading Marketing Officer

Horticulture (P&M) J&K Govt. 

Zone Qazigund 

Website : mukhtarsblog.wordpress.com  

Email : khan.mukhtar@live.com 

twitter : http://MARIBMARIYA.twitter.com  

Impact of Marketing intervention scheme (MIS) on the Apple production and its imports in the state of Jammu and Kashmir
 The department of Horticulture which was established during the year 1972-73 to provide cushions to the fruit grower’s dealer’s entrepreneurs and other stakeholders to boost and enhance the production of fresh and dry fruits has borne fruit of prosperity all these years.

But I would like the readers that either they read the whole article or not read it at all as the crux of the whole issue is deliberated in between and at the end. 

The basic constituents of this important department had toiled a lot to make this journey a fruitful one all these years inspite of being stagnant in their respective careers. But the employees have never allowed this stagnation to make room in the overall development of this department but exerted a lot and converted affords into a viable tool to provide sustenance to the fruit industry. 

Various schemes were introduced in the horticulture sector by this department  with an idea to allow growers and other stakeholders to improve their socio-economic status. 

Our department introduced cooperative sector and growers and stake holders were brought under its ambit to  get financial assistance in such a way that their needs were fulfilled in preharvest and post-harvest phase. 

The financial institutions were tiedup and department of Horticulture P&M travelled extra mile and allowed growers to raise loans in cooperative and collective way.

The cooperative movement got the flip and small and marginal growers ‎were given a platform to organise fruit growers cooperative marketing societies (FGCMS) and thus raise the  loan for the members and department would in this case  act as guarantor to satisfy the needs of financial institutions. 

The process moved on but during the due course of time it lost its  sheen .The cooperative sector got a dent and thus turned defunct but department made innovative steps to diversify its logistics to remain relevant and alert to  the changing scenarios. 

In the meantime department had already expanded its operations outside the state by establishing Area marketing offices to provide marketing intelligence back home and at the same time created bridge between growers, dealers and sellers outside the state. 

With the passage of time and  to increase ‎quality of fruit dispatches outside state an innovative scheme was launched during the years 2003-04,2004-05,2005-06,2006-07 christened as MIS to retain C grade fruit within the state to diversify only A and B grade outside state. 

The Scheme was catchy and it turned the fate of fruit industry into a viable and profitable venture since previously when such. C grade fruit was sent outside the state whole formula of returns would ordinarily get rebounded into huge losses to growers. 

The nitty gritty of schemes has many times been discussed but it’s impact on exports have never been discussed to reach to any scientific conclusion as what has been it’s impact on production and exports outside the state. 

 Thanking employees for sincere efforts.

Since the functionaries of department ‎which include our officers and other subordinate staff have worked very hard to make this scheme successful but nobody till date have a word of appreciation for the officers /officials to boost and enhance their morale. 

The other most important‎functionary who contributed a lot in this department while attending their official duties had been the class IV who had worked tirelessly in all circumstances. But I have yet to see anybody who appreciated or thanked them for this attitude of travelling extra miles in deliverance of their duties. 

Thanking anybody for showing sincerity in deliverance of their official obligations derives maximum mileage and thanking someone for the accomplished of job, which does not fall in his / her job ‎chart becomes more appealing. 

I have seen these messengers of sincerity doing all types of jobs whether it fits into their job profile or not but at the end of the month when they use to claim  their travelling expenses we would never  pay them simply excusing that they were not at first place entitled for claims as this job does not belong to them. 

I myself would direct them to collect information from one office and the other but we do not have the human hearts to compensate and pay them nor I have ever thanked them. 

Anyway if anybody thanked them or not they have contributed a lot and have made all schemes a success story through hard labour and dedication. 

Inspite of this employees worked day in and day out to deliver at zero level but results yielded 100%.  

I being a keen observer of things tried to make understand the world that employees of horticulture planning and marketing have make it possible to enhance the quality of dispatches vigorously implementing the MIS scheme which make it  possible to retain C grade fruit within the state. 

Now to present ‎a feature how C grade fruit was diversified for value addition in many local industries in the form of pulp and juice will need another opportunate time .

We have been watching the developments but have never tried to convert our affords into a slogan of prosperity by comparing the fruit exports before the MIS and after the MIS was introduced‎.

The impact of MIS on production and exports is presented by a exhaustive documented data  which when observed keenly shows that during the  period the scheme was implemented there was increase in the production but exports have decreased. 

The tables at 1 2 3 and figures at 1 2 3 4 as given below convey the impact of MIS ‎on production and exports. 

The MIS scheme which was introduced during the years 2003-04 ,2004 -05 ,2005-06 2006-07 and 2007-08 have made a dent in exports as only quality fruit was made to be dispatched outside the state as is evident from the tables detailed below. 

To work out growth rate of total export and production in respective years the below mentioned formula has been used while formulating the tables of growth as done in methodology and data analysis.

The formula devised by Mr. Naseer Ahmad Rather, Mr.Parvaiz Ahmad lone has been explored to compare the data to reach out to the main issue as given below 

METHODOLOGY AND DATA:

Keeping in view the present status of research work the data has been obtained from both primary and secondary sources. Secondary data has been obtained from government official records, valid records of state government, department of horticulture, magazines, journals and other active related agencies of the department of horticulture in the state. The equation mentioned below was used to find out the trend value of production of fresh and dry fruits in Jammu and Kashmir.

Y = Dependent variable

x = Independent variable

a = Intercept coefficient

b = Slope coefficient

Table- 1: Production of fresh and dry fruits in thousand metric tonnes during 2004-05 to 2010-11 in Jammu and Kashmir
During the survey of research work data was obtained which shows the production of fruits (fresh and dry) in Jammu and Kashmir from 2004-05 to 2010-11 given in the above mentioned table 1.

Table- 2: Production and Export of fruit outside the state in lakh metric tonnes during 2003-2010
During the tenure of research work data was obtained which shows the export of fresh and dry fruits in Jammu and Kashmir given in the above mentioned table 2.
The overall production of fruits in Jammu and Kashmir has shown an increasing trend, especially the production of apple and walnut. Total fruit production in the state is dominated by production of apple and walnut.

Table-3: Growth rate, trend value of production and export of fresh and dry fruits in Jammu and Kashmir

RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
In Jammu and Kashmir state export of fruits outside has occupied a prominent place in the trade matters. Export of fruits has shown considerable progress. The total quantity exported during 2009-10, was 9.57 lakh metric tonnes which is 55.9 percent of the production figure of the same year and during 2010-11, total quantity exported was 8.66 lakh metric tonnes which is 38.97 percent of the production figure of the same year. The total production of fruits under horticulture is increasing every year particularly production of apple and walnut however, there is no significant growth in the export of outside the state. The decline in the export of fruits outside the state is due to the introduction of market intervention scheme (MIS). In Jammu and Kashmir fruits especially dry fruits, go also to other countries and earn substantial foreign exchange. The export of dry fruit viz, almond and walnut during 2007-08, was 688.11 metric tonnes comprising of 197.11 metric tonnes of almond, 6692 metric tonnes of walnuts.

Figure- 1: Total export of fruit outside the state of Jammu and Kashmir in lakh metric tonnes 2003-10
The figure mentioned above shows that during 2003-04, the total export of fresh and dry fruits outside the state was 7.76 lakh metric tonnes in which the relative share of fresh fruits was 7.63 lakh metric tonnes and relative share of dry fruit was 0.13 lakh metric tonnes however, this figure has been reached to 8.66 lakh metric tonnes during 2010-11, in which the relative share of fresh fruit was 8.51 lakh metric tonnes while, as relative share of dry fruit was 0.51 lakh metric tonnes. In absolute terms the share of fresh fruits in total export of state has shown a considerable progress as compared to export of dry fruits.
Figure -2: Growth rate of export of total fruits in Jammu and Kashmir
The above mentioned figure evidicts that the growth rate of export of total fruits has been showing upward and downward movement during the overall period. During 2004-05, the growth rate of export was 7.47 percent and during 2010-11, the growth rate of export was negative (-9.50 percent) which has marginally decreased and it is significantly very low as compared to earlier period (2004-05). However, during the overall period the average growth rate of total exports was 2.88 percent.

Figure -3: Production trend of total fruits in Jammu and Kashmir
The figure mentioned above shows the actual value of production of total fruits and its trend value calculated from the regression equation (1193.4+78.632X) as it is clear from the figure that actual value has not shown much deviation from the trend value. Upward increasing trend of production clearly indicates that in absolute terms the production of fruits has increased and there is a positive relation between total fruit production and number of years. The coefficient of determination R2=0.9754, indicates that fruit production in Jammu and Kashmir has shown significant increase during the study period.

Figure- 4: Production of total fruits in Jammu and Kashmir (thousand metric tonnes)

The figure mentioned above shows that during the overall period from 2004-05 to 2010-11, production of total fruits in Jammu and Kashmir has shown an absolute increasing trend with a growth rate of 9.12 percent during 2005-06 and 2.17 percent of growth rate during 2010-11 however, the average growth rate of total fruit production was 4.73 percent during the period of study. The total fruit production during 2004-05, was 1232.75 thousand metric tonnes in which the relative share of fresh fruit was 1118.49 thousand metric tonnes and relative share of dry fruits was 114.26 thousand metric tonnes however, this production figure has been reached to 1740.62 thousand metric tonnes during 2010-11, in which the relative share of fresh fruits was 1564.15 thousand metric tonnes and relative share of dry fruits was 176.47 thousand metric tonnes.

CONCLUSION
Horticulture sector serves as a highly contributing industry to the state’s economy. Out of the total area of horticulture in the state, 90 percent is concentrated in the valley due to its suitable climate with annual turnover of 75 million US$, this sector is the biggest source of income in the state’s economy next to agriculture. Contribution of horticulture sector to states GDP is 7-8 percent and 45 percent of economic returns in the agricultural sector are accounted for by horticulture. Due to continuous increasing trend in the production and export of fresh and dry fruits the agricultural land gets diversified into horticultural land and increasing production of horticultural produces directly influences the income, employment and living standard in the rural areas of state. The unique climatic conditions of the state facilitate the growth of diverse vegetation including horticulture. About 20 percent of total cultivated area is under horticulture crop in physical terms the area under fruit cultivation is about 3.03 lakh hectares. However, the sector is adversely affected due to lack of marketing strategy. Considering the growth prospects of this sector, the state government needs to plan for higher and more quality production. The state should shift its agriculture development strategy from food security mode to that of value addition by growing certain products like high value fruits, vegetables and cash crops like saffron that can give high returns. The aggregate production and export of fresh and dry fruits has shown increasing trend the overall production of fresh and dry fruits during 2004-05 was 1232.75 thousand metric tonnes and it reached to 1740.62 thousand metric tonnes during 2010-11 and the overall export of fresh and dry fruits was 7.6 lakh metric tonnes in 2003-04 and it reached to 8.66 lakh metric tonnes in 2010-11.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION:
The total quantity exported during 2005-06 was 8.70 lakh metric tones which is 62.01 percent of the production figure of same year and during 2006-07 total quantity exported was 7.50‎ lakh metric tones which is 49.87 percent of the production figure of same year. The exports further decrease during the year. 2007-08 and touches 45.84 percent of the total production of same year as is evident from the tables. The Year 2009-10 saw further dip in the exports with 55.90 percent of total production of the same year but to utter surprise it plummeted to 38.97 percent ‎as exports out of 8.66 lakh metric tones

The total quantity exported during 2005-06 was 8.70 lakh metric tones which is 62.01 percent of the production figure of same year and during 2006-07 total quantity exported was 7.50‎ lakh metric tones which is 49.87. percent of. The production figure of same year. The exports further decrease during the year. 2007-08 and touches 45.84 percent of the total production of same year as is evident from the tables. The Year 2009-10 saw further dip in the exports with 55.90 percent of total production of the same year but to utter surprise it plummeted to 38.97 percent ‎as exports out of 8.66 lakh metric tones exports of same year. 

The above analysis makes picture clear and shows clearly that MIS has make a difference in exports during the time scheme was operated and even after the scheme was stopped simply because growers have now developed habit of exporting only quality fruit outside v the state as a debut the MIS schemes 

If we analyse it further picture gets crystal clear that the movement MIS was stopped that exports got increased conveying even C grade was dispatched that is evident from the chart which shows that during the year2008-09 the exports touched 11.17 lakh metric tones which is 66.06 percent of total production during the same year. But to our surprise even during non MIS PHASES 2009-2011 the exports again decreased as a realization that sending C grades outside state is affecting returns badly. Thus during 2009-2011 exports decreased as is shown in table 2 and 3.

The analysis shows increase of 20.22 percent during year 2008-99 in exports   when compared‎ to exports of. 2007-8 with only 45.84 percent of total. Exports. 

Thus we are left with the data that production of fruit and it’s area is also increasing but during MIS exports were decreased making it a loud statement that scheme has impacted exports and only quality fruit was despatched outside state by retaining C grade inside the state for other purposes. 

 ACHIEVERS AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF DEPARTMENT:

Government either admit the hard labour of employees or not but it has been proved that employees of horticulture planning and marketing have given blood to the schemes of department and made it a successful mission keeping   problems  of stagnation at home during this successful stint in the fields. 

I have seen my colleagues working very hard in this department but attaining superannuation without getting promoted  ‎even after investing more than 30 active years of service. I have seen my seniors‎retiring from active service but never got confirmed on the post they retired at.

But I have not seen anybody complaining about this gross violation but instead invested their hard work to carry forward the departmental activities. 

 Anyway this is another issue which will be deliberated again in another analysis but unless appreciation is not allowed to reach to the target ‎the going will always be painful. 

DEDICATION OF ANALYSIS TO MY OFFICERS / COLLEAGUES: 

I therefore dedicate this article to all my officers, colleagues ministerial staff and orderlies who have retired or who are still active but who have been deprived of due promotions. It also salutes those active officers whose drawing and disbursing. Powers were withdrawn on flimsy grounds ‎but still working with same zeal and strength. I thought it proper to vent my feelings for the said onslaught   on the normal functioning of the laid down system. I have served this department from 1984 but till date I have never heard anything ‎about DPC or its relevance in our system of things. 

While concluding my analysis the name of my Senior Officers which include Mr. N.A. Hajni, Mr. Showkat Ahmad Khan, Mr. Qazi Ajaz and others resonate in my mind. Since whatever final points of discipline in marketing have I achieved it is only because of the guidance of such wonderful people. I have the privilege to work under all the three wonderful officers and they have contributed a lot in allowing me to deliver different Marketing Techniques  during my service period.

I thus dedicate this analysis in the Honour of Mr. Qazi Ajaz, Joint Director HPM who is retiring from his active service on 30-04-2007 after putting in more than 35 years of active and purposeful years in this department.  

M.A.Khan

AGMO

Qazigund

Copy to the:-

The Deputy Director Kashmir for favour of information. 

The Deputy Director (Central) Srinagar for favour of information. 

The AMO ————————————————All. 

AGMO ————————————————–All. 

Horticulture industry Challenges and remedies,apple/ Walnut Kashmir

A Brief Note on Horticulture Industry 

Challenges and Remedies
Information on Walnut Industry 

Challenge & Remedies

 In 

Jammu & Kashmir State
By
MUKHTAR AHAMD KHAN

Assistnat Grading Marketing Officer

Qazigund Zone

J&K Government

A Brief Note on Horticulture by 

M.A. Khan, 

AGMO, Qazigund.
Horticulture Industry Challenges & Remedies

Horticulture in Kashmir is facing twin challenges, one from the climatic front and the other from the free movement of imports from different countries. 

But we as marketing people have to accept this challenge and divert our energy to neutralise the affect by persuasion process. We cannot seal the borders but we can seize the opportunity by improving the quality of our product to give befitting reply to the free trade dogma.

Nature has endowed Kashmir with innumerable gifts, its towering snow clad mountains, bubbling streams, transparent and sparkling lakes, flower meadows, colorful orchards and rare fauna have always attracted numerous tourists from all corners of the world. 

The age-old traditional fruit cultivation has profusely colored the serenity and tranquillity of Kashmir’s landscape. Kashmir, the land of fauna, flora and fruits possesses a rich history of fruit cultivation.

Years before the time of warrior King ‘Lalita Ditya’ and though the golden periods of benevolent kings like ‘Awantiwaraman’ and Sultan Zain-ul-Abdin ‘Badshah’, Kashmir has remained the symbol of fruits and flowers. 

The horticulture industry in Kashmir has become the bulwark of rural economy in the state. This industry earns a revenue of over Rs. 50 crores yearly approximately and provides job facilities to the thousands of people directly and indirectly.

We have rich varieties of fruits and if timely interceptions are not incorporated in our working given known the challenges we are in, due to opening of ports from different countries, to pitch their produce against the fruits of Kashmir. 

It is a hard fact that growers from developed countries have access to quality inputs with standardisation of grading and packing, which to some extend are not available to our growers. 

Either our growers do not have the standard inputs in the form of pesticides and fertilisers or if available professional guidance as how and when to apply the inputs, does not come easily at their door steps. 

Whole marketing setup needs a change since whatever has been there since the inception of establishment of horticulture department ‎needs overhauling so that we guide our growers in such a way so that their produce have a edge over the quality of imports being thrusted into the domestic market.  

The rich variety on which stress needs to be invested includes the below mentioned one’s.  

APPLE

Lawrence describes it as “the most popular apple in Kashmir ——- a sweet fruit ripening in October and keeping its condition for a long time and finding favour with the natives of India for its sweetness and its handsome appearance. 

AMBRI

Ambri is indigenous to Kashmir and continues to enjoy superiority by virtue of its crisp, sweet flesh and excellent aroma. The fruit is blushed red, striped, medium-sized and oblong to conical in shape with longer storage life. The fruit matures in the last week of September to first week of October. 

It is an excellent dessert variety. This variety has crisp juicy, greenish white and sweet flesh and is usually medium-sized, as a result of which it has become very popular with consumers. Oblate-shaped, blushed and patchy red with a smooth surface, it matures in the last week of September. A good dessert variety but of late the variety is at the verge of extinction and no steps have been initiated by SKUAST-K to protect it. 

DELICIOUS

Delicious (Red Delicious) A world-renowned variety. It is one of the most widely grown apples. The fruit is tapering in shape with characteristic five lobes at the apex. Skin is smooth, striped and blushed red. Flesh is fine grained, greenish white, sweet, very juicy and crisp with good aroma. Size is medium to large and it matures by the end of September. A good dessert variety. 

HAZARATBALI

Hazaratbali (Benoni) A medium-sized apple with rounds to slightly conical in shape and red to striped skin; white juicy and sweet flesh. It is the earliest variety of apple available from the valley, maturing in mid-July. Nakh Kashmiri (Chinese Sandy Pear) This variety gets its name from grained flesh. A conical shaped, small to medium sized variety with crisp, white and juicy flesh. The skin is thick and green in color that turns yellow on ripening. Carries well in storage and is an excellent dessert variety.

CHERRY

GILAS DOUBLE

Gilas Double This variety is large-sized and attractive with cream-red color. The flesh is firm and juicy but slightly acidic. A good keeper; excellent for canning, and dessert purposes. 
GILAS MISRI

Gilas Misri Large sized and red colored; its skin is firm and flesh is sweet and juicy. A good dessert variety. 

WALNUT 

Walnut is considered to be the “brain food” and Kashmiri Walnut is considered to be the best in world. The pure quality and amazing nutritious values of Walnuts makes it the most popular among dry fruits. Fruit medium to above medium, pointed, halves accuminate. Skin thick, downy, yellow base with scattered red patches. Flesh firm, creamy yellow, moderately juicy, sweet with acidic blend when fully ripe. Free stone. The fruit is ready for harvest in 3rd week of August. But due to imports from China and other countries it has got a dent in the marketing scenario outside the state. A detail report enclosed at Annexure-A.  

Since Governor had already directed to constitute an expert committee to locate means and measures for the upliftment of walnut industry, so to suggest short and long term measures for advancement of walnut and kernel. It is surprising that walnut is produced in Kashmir but scientific methods for grading and packing is not available in Kashmir but to some extend it is available at Jammu wherefrom fruit is exported.

SAFFRON:

Kashmiri saffron is considered as the king of the saffron species where it has been grown in the fields of Pampore near Srinagar for close to 2500 years. Kashmiri Saffron is valued all over the world for its fine quality and a large part of the saffron produced in Kashmir is exported to various countries. Fruit medium, from oblong to rather ovate, slightly irregular in shape. Cavity rather deep to medium in depth, regular and acute. Skin yellow when fresh (brown yellow when dried) sweet, moderately flavored, stone free kernel sweet. Ready for picking in the last week of June. 

STRAWBERRY

Strawberry Fruit medium, roundish, regular, skin smooth and thin flesh deep red, juicy, sweet and soft full of aroma, stone cling type.

 In order to save our fruit industry we have to visit the battle grounds of orchids and educate our growers about the latest technologies which if applied can ensure production of quality fruit and at the same time it’s enhancement of shelf life. 

A grower has to be educated that orthodox type of business has not yielded them anything now they have to incorporate entrepreneurship in their day to day activities in the fields to enhance and increase their net worth. 

Most important attention needs to be invested in application of quality inputs in consultation with experts of horticulture so that whatever further energy our growers Invests gets rewarded accordingly in postharvest phase. 

Growers need to be guided in post harvest phase in the sense as techniques to harvest fruit is the catch word for better returns, Simple injury can damage the shelf life of the produce. 

Pre cooling is very important factor to maintain the marketability of any produce and if necessary arrangement under technology mission need to be explored so that atleast one pre cooling facility is made available in a village 

Our department need to move away from the establishments of Satellite ‎markets terminal markets apni mandies for the time being and stress for the proper grading and packing of fruit 

If we are successful in this venture we could be called the real marketing tools and which can ultimately percolate into something good for the industry, thus can be a good initiative for contribution and protection of our fruits industry from the onslaught of free imports. 

Previously only imports would be allowed from Mumbai but now all the ports of India have been opened to throw a marketing challenge for the fruit industry of Kashmir. 

The Government decision to relax import restrictions on apples through various sea ports in the country is likely to hit Kashmir apple industry with local stakeholders here claiming the move will cause a whopping Rs 400 crore loss to the Valley.

The government of India earlier used to allow import of apples through only one sea port of Maharashtra, but now it has decided to allow inbound shipments of the fruit through sea ports and airports in Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and Cochin. It has also permitted imports from land port and airport in Delhi besides land borders.

The move as per the fruit dealers would have a serious impact on the Kashmir apple industry.

“On an average State export apples worth Rs 4,000-Rs 5,000 crore to outside state. The decision of the central government will badly affect our apple trade and would reduce our turnover by a huge margin.

To cap the issue we need to reach out to the growers for taking steps to improve and enhance production on scientific lines. Apart from adopting new technology to enhance the yield in the already grown old varieties of apple, steps need to be taken to make available the high yielding plantation of high density so that growers have a competitive edge on the burgeoning imports from different sources. ‎

To start with we may motivate the fruit growers to shift to high-density orcharding to enhance apple production for greater economic returns on the fruit . Government will definitely need to travel a extra mile., and create a easy way for the growers to diversify horticulture by adopting newer techniques and best practices to survive the onslaught of emerging markets in and outside the country,

The orchard which been set up by an individual prospective entrepreneur at Bamdoora , Qazigund, could be turned into a sample field to educate our growers so that steps in right directions are at least started for giving a initiative so that steps are taken for making Kashmir the ‘fruit valley of the world’.‎

 It is only the viable preposition to make further progress in the industry since we need to appreciate the affords whatever our growers have made during the trying times of uncertainty which made it possible for sustaining the state’s fledgling economy.

A young ‘techno-farmer’ with branded concept of Root2Fruit, has scientifically developed his orchard over 42 kanals of land with attractive rows of high-quality apple plants, with each carefully provided with four-wire trellis system, anti-hail net and a drip irrigation and fertigation unit. 

The orchard in question has started bearing fruit in a brief gestation period of just a little over 15 months. The variety include Grannysmith,an apple with medicinal value most suitable for diabetes. 

Under high-density farming, lot of Root stocks, presently imported from Europe, are planted over one kanal of land in the demonstration plant in Qazigund With each tree yielding 18-19 kg high-quality apple, one kanal of land will produce 4-5 MT of fruit, which is a quantum jump over propagation of apples through traditional farming.

If a private enterprise can contribute so much for the high yielding plantation why we can not propose ‎the government to duplicate the same scheme under its control so that progressive growers who are looking for the same can get benefited. 

It is also a fact that packing plays an important role and our department has been propagating‎ the use of cardboard carton but it has not been fully accomplished due to cost constraints. 

If govt takes steps to subsidise the packing we may motivate growers further to switch over to modern packaging.  

Our department could be a suitable outlet for such schemes if our idea is purchased by the govt ‎.

Earlier apples from foreign countries like USA, China, Chile, Afghanistan, Iran, etc., were imported only through Nhava Sheva port in Maharashtra. “That was not a big threat for us. But now government has opened all ports and airports which means foreign apples will be cheaper than ours as a result of which our trade will be drastically hit.

It is also a fact that due to centre government’s decision, Kashmir apple sector is estimated to suffer a loss Rs 400 crore as the rate of apples has reduced much to the dismay of growers Apple is the most heavily consumed imported fruit in India. India is world’s third-largest producer of apples. Apple production in the country is limited to the hilly states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand .

If we cannot protect our fruit industry how can we sell our idea of network of mandies for the same. 

We need to be partners for change and get the marketing act implemented in totality, in the state so that our field staff have a full control on the quality of produce which can only be possible when we have authority to check despatches randomly while being sent outside. 

At the same time we have to be proactive in the fields and work side by side with growers and provide them all means to make this happen by periodically conduct graders training camps at gross root levels.

Our department has to create a role for making available quality inputs and at the same time keep Krishi Vigyan Kendra ( SKUAST-K) in the loop and allow growers to get wherewithal about pre and post harvest techniques for the temperate fruits to enhance acceptability in the market. 

Imports are not posing any threat but they are providing chance to improve our crop.

No. 101/HPM/AGMO/QZD/2016-17/164-68 Dated: 01-04-2016
M. A. Khan

AGMO

Qazigund
Copy to:-

Deputy Director Horticulture Planning & marketing, Jammu & Kashmir Government for favour of information. I as a marketing personal reached out to a conclusion that unless and until we are not in a position to educate our small and marginal growers regarding the latest technologies we may fail to deliver our official obligations, given known the fact that imports from different countries have started impacting our marketing setup. 

Area Marketing Officer , Anantnag for favour of information. 

Area Marketing officer, Kulgam for information. 

Area Marketing officer, Pulwama for information. 

Office file. 

 
Continue..Horticulture Industry Challenges & Remedies 

Annexure-A

Walnut Industry of Jammu & Kashmir State

Challenges and Remedies

Walnut (Juglans regia L), rich in nutritious substances and various microelement, is one of important economic species in the world of family Juglandaceae. The genus Juglans L. (Juglandaceae) consist of 7 to 45 species depending on the taxonomic study.Walnut, Juglans regia, is called by different names in different parts of India. The most common vernacular name for walnut in the region is akhrot, but other names are also known, such as dun in Kashmir and khod in parts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. In India, walnut production was earlier confined to Jammu & Kashmir and it appears that it spread to Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand states of the country. Some limited variability may also exist in eastern and north-eastern regions, viz., Darjeeling, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. It flourishes in temperate belts h at an altitude of 900-3500 msl. The tree normally grows well in cool climates that is free from frost during spring but does not thrive in areas with hot summers.

The production of a good quality walnut crop is, however, dependent on altitude, temperature fluctuations and humidity/moisture during the main fruit development stage. Frost or snow during flowering destroys young flowers and new shoots, thereby affecting crop production. Walnut productions are light demanding species and are drought tolerant. Normally, an evenly distributed annual rainfall of 760 mm is considered to be optimum for a good quality crop. Walnut plants start flowering in February and continue until April, depending upon the elevation. Flowering occurs earlier at lower elevations. Shell hardening begins in the middle of June, and harvesting starts from the middle of August and continues until the end of October. Fruits are harvested from the trees once the endocarp splits and the first fruit begins to shed. Nuts are collected from the ground between the months of September and October in Jammu & Kashmir. After collecting nuts, these are cleaned, washed and dried by spreading them on sheets or floor. Sometimes in order to improve the appearance of nuts, these are bleached with either alkali or acid solution. Nuts which fall down with their husks intact are generally second-grade. After removal of the husks, cleaning and drying, they are stored and marketed separately to fetch a higher price. Delay in drying causes rapid loss in nut quality and makes walnuts susceptible to the mold. Drying of nuts stabilizes the product’s weight and prolongs storage life. Therefore, September-October is found to be the best time for colleting nuts. The best time for collecting bud sticks for grafting is January-February. Walnut production involves fewer losses in pre harvesting and post harvesting stages as compared to other crops such as apple. Walnut is less perishable by nature and easy to handle/transport from one place to another. The walnuts produced at altitudes of 1500 m and above are considered of superior quality, with a light-coloured kernel and a characteristic thin shell. At lower elevations, the kernel usually turns brown because of high temperatures at the time of ripening.

AREA AND DISTRIBUTION

Around 30,800 hectares is under walnut cultivation in the country, with the annual production at 36,000 tonnes. The domestic and external demand has been increasing over the years and is projected to 75,000 tonnes by 2020. Therefore, it is necessary to bring additional area to meet the projected demand. The state of Jammu and Kashmir is the major producer of walnuts in India, infact, the entire quantity of walnuts the country exports is from J&K state. In this northwestern area of the country, walnuts are grown all over the Kashmir valley and the hill regions of Jammu. The most important districts for walnut cultivation are Anantnag, Pulwana, Kupwara, Budgam, Baramulla and Srinagar. In Jammu, the largest areas under walnut cultivation are Doda district, followed by Poonch and Udhampur, with minor quantities grown in Rajouri and Kathua districts. Walnut production is very common is kishtwar district especially in tehsil Chattroo of kishtwar district. The area under overall dry fruits which includes Almond, Pecanut and Walnut is 112400 hectares in Jammu and Kashmir and area under walnut is 95601 hectares which means 85.05% of area under dry fruits is under the cultivation of walnut. In Kashmir region only the area under horticulture is 72431 hectares and under walnut production it is 56721 hectares, thus area under dry fruits is more in Kashmir region than in Jammu region. Among all districts in Kashmir region district Anantnag has highest acreage under walnut cultivation 16524 hectares followed by district Budgam 14562 hectares followed by Pulwama district 10918 hectares. In Jammu region district Poonch has highest area 8306 hectares under cultivation followed by district Doda 6616 hectares. So far as production of walnut is concerned it is mainly cultivated in in Anantnag 16163 hectares followed by district Kupwara 8463 hectares. In Jammu region it is 215 hectares highest in Doda district followed by Kishtwar district 64 hectares. Productivity is higher in Kashmir region than in Jammu division. Productivity of walnut is highest in district Baramulla 4.498863 ton/ha followed by district Kulgam 3.98693 ton/ha in Kashmir region. Productivity is higher in Kashmir region than in Jammu division. It is highest in Doda district 1.663525 ton/ha followed by district reasi 1.647861 tonn/ha in Jammu region. In Ladakh region, Leh has highest productivity of 2.22449 tonn/ha. 

NUTRITIONAL AND MEDICINAL USES

Walnuts are rich in proteins, fat, minerals and are concentrated source of energy with high essential unsaturated fatty acids such as the a linoleic acid and omega-6 fatty acid. These contain a good amount of Vitamin B group and are the richest in vitamin B6 among all the nuts.Walnuts are rich in amino acids (glutamic acid, arginine and leucine) particularly sulfured one-taurine (2-aminoethylsulfonic acid) is important as it is involved in many functions of homeostatic regulation, thermoregulation, anti-aging, nervous conduction and protection against oxidative stress. It is extensively used for cooking oil in tribal areas of the region, with hard-shelled walnuts mostly used for this purpose. Walnut is reported to enhance appetite, promote blood circulation and keep the skin delicate. Walnut bark and nut hulls are used as ingredients in naturopathic remedies. Today walnut and its products are being promoted for treating a variety of skin ailments (ringworm, athlete’s foot, jock itch, psoriasis, eczema, wounds) constipation, internal parasites and it has been recommended as a gargle to soothe sore throat.
ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE

In rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir, many of families are totally dependent upon the walnut cultivation but due to existence of chain of intermediaries, the producers are not getting their due prices. Not only that walnut production adds to income of poor in rural areas but also that walnuts have been important source of nutrition for the poor. In Jammu and Kashmir farmers earn to the tune of Rs. 20000 to Rs. 50000 annually from horticulture; 60 % of people are in this income bracket. 25% of people earn income in the range of Rs. 150000 to 20000, 10% of people earn Rs. 10000 to 15000. And only 5 % of people derive income ranging from Rs. 5000 to 10000. No single family has income less than 50000. It means majority rural people in Jammu and Kashmir earn income in range of Rs. 15000 to 50000 annually. Although the income of this range may appear very less but keeping in view the overall income of these people and share of income from horticulture, the economic dependence of these people on horticulture can be gauged (Kumar,2015). According to a study, walnut orchard can provide permanent green cover to the soil. The gross return on walnut comes round Rs. 3 lakh per hectare. This is based on the yield of 1500 kg per hectare and farm price of Rs. 200 per kg. After deducting the farm expenses assumed to be 40 percent of the gross return, the net income of the farmer comes to be Rs. 1.80 lakh per hectare. According to the reports the walnuts are selling at more than Rs. 300 a kilogram and the walnut kernels between Rs. 400/ to Rs 500/ kilogram presently in outside mandi. The fruit has excellent flavour and is mainly consumed as a dry fruit. Commercially, it is used for preparation of bakery products, chocolates, ice-creams, oils, confectionary and salad products. Immature fruits of walnut can be utilized for preparing various products like pickles, chutneys, fresh juices and syrups. Shells are used in glue, plastics and for making solutions for cleaning and polishing surfaces. Walnut has both alimentary and industrial uses. Walnut hull is used to dye fabrics for rugs and dresses. Old walnut trees are felled with permission and the wood is used for making furniture and exquisite walnut wood carved items. This wood carving is an industry in Kashmir and about 9000 to 10000 people survive because of this activity only. Walnut wood carving items are exported to Europe, America and Gulf. 

PRESENT STATUS

Most of the trees in Jammu & Kashmir are of seedling origin and no standard variety is generally grown here, though Sheri-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST-K) has released two walnut cultivars, Hamadan and Sulaiman, having high yield potential and shelling percentage. Introduction of other varieties like Lake English, Drainovsky and Opex Caulchry have also been found promising. Mainly three varieties of walnuts are grown in the state. These varieties are locally called WONTH, KAGAZI AND BURZUL. The Wonth is a hard Nut to crack and has thick and large outer shell and small kernel. It is mostly sold locally and used for extracting oil. The Kagzi is a better sized walnut and has thin outer shell but thick and good sized inner kernel. one can crack Kagzi in hands only . The inner kernel of the Kagzi variety is white. The Burzul is a medium size variety a little dark and with a little thicker outer shell. The inner kernel is not so white but tasty. This walnut too breaks easily. It is presently acid washed to make it look like Kagzi. The walnuts produced in Jammu usually have a thicker shell and are sold in local markets under the name pahari. On the basis of packaging, the walnuts are divided into two categories, bag and box quality. Thin-shelled kagzi walnuts are usually brought to market in wooden boxes and baskets. Nuts with thicker shells are usually transported in bags. In terms of taste, Kashmir walnuts are considered superior but the variations in the colour and size of the crop are not favourable attributes. In-shell walnuts for export are graded and sold under marketing rules set in 1966. Those of a minimum size of 32 mm, a good cracking rate of over 90 percent and the fewest internal defects are assigned the grade designation of India Super-special. Nuts with a minimum size of 30 mm are designated India-Special and nuts of 24-26 mm are graded India I and India B-grade. Strangely Walnut grading units are mostly located in Jammu wherefrom the Kernel is exported to Europe, America and other countries. 

Most plantations are of seedling origin and are in scattered form which produces nuts of variable quality. Because of its breeding characteristics, walnut has formed abundant genetic diversities through a long term evolution under complicated environment. Breeders over the years have exploited the variation amongst these seedling trees to select superior genotypes with desirable traits. Besides, improved cultivars were introduced from other countries and after evaluation, some recommendations have been made. On the whole, walnut has remained a low priority crop in otherwise apple dominated regions. 

An ideal walnut variety must have late leafing, both terminal and lateral bearing, low incidence of pistillate flower abscission, high yielding nuts (>6 MT/ha) with jambo size, relatively smooth, >50% kernel recovery, plump and light coloured kernel and at least moderately resistant to pest and diseases.Scientists from different parts of world have practiced simple selection in the natural seed population and selected trees of high nut quality.

Due to poor profitability of traditional crops, people are now shifting towards cultivation of horticulture crops as these crops has helped many of the people to come out of poverty and educate their children. Among horticulture crops walnut is very important as cultivation of walnut requires less skill and more of protection and safeguards? of crops and plants. The walnuts are drought tolerant and can be cultivated even if proper irrigation is not available although the amount of irrigation has an impact on the productivity of walnut. Presently production of walnut in India is around 1.2 tonnes per hectare which is very low in comparison to 3-5 tonne/hectare in advanced countries. India exports 2,665.87 MT walnut to more than 40 nations with earnings of more than 136.45 crores of foreign exchange annually. The top importers of Indian walnut include Egypt, UK, China, Germany, France, Netherlands, UAE, Greece, US, Kuwait, Australia, Hong Kong and Spain. 

Indian walnut consumption in 2014-15 is expected to grow eight percent to 28,000 MT due to stable supplies and strong domestic demand. Presently, an estimated 50 to 60 percent of Indian walnut supplies are consumed domestically, of which nearly half are consumed during the festive season. Industry sources estimate that upwards of 10 percent of domestic consumption is by the bakery, confectionary, and ice cream industries. An additional three to four percent of walnuts (typically nuts that are already rancid) are used by soap and cosmetic manufacturers, who extract the oil for use in their various products.

Due to growing domestic consumption, coupled with a decline in domestic production, exports of Indian walnuts decreases. Additionally, tighter domestic supplies encouraged walnut imports, which are forecast at 1,000 MT. As the United States is the only country which currently meets India’s quarantine requirements, U.S. walnuts are likely to be exclusively imported. Walnuts are imported into India without quantitative restrictions under the Open General License (OGL) program. Imports are subject to an effective import duty of 30.9 percent except for imports originating from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries and Afghanistan. Earlier, most of the walnut growing areas were either remote or tribal, and marketing was difficult. Now, with the availability of better communications and road networks, marketing to cities can be done easily. Walnut is a nonperishable commodity and has good storability. It can therefore be transported easily to distant places, including for export.

Significant increases in walnut production can be expected in Jammu & Kashmir where local selections and new cultivars are being evaluated which will require expanded market development. Those engaged in production research must become more closely aligned with the processing and marketing industry to ensure that the quality aspects of walnuts are considered in relation to commercial demand and processing technology. Crop improvement related to higher yield, high number of fruitful lateral, precocity, late leafing, early harvesting, reduce tree size, self-fertile and homogamy are desired. Which is difficult through breeding process and will take long time for achieving the desired results. Therefore researchers are exploiting the local genepool for walnut improvement through selection. Smooth shell texture, light colour, round to oblong in shape, paper shell, strong shell seal, high kernel-shell ratio, plump, bold, easy to remove kernel halves, light in colour, sweet in taste, well filled kernels are some of the good chracteristics for walnut improvement, to boost the export of produce and compete in the international market. Central Institute of Temperate Horticulture, J&K has developed different varieties among these promising one are CITH Walnut 1, CITH Walnut 2, CITH Walnut 3, CITH Walnut 4, CITH Walnut 5, CITH Walnut 6, CITH Walnut 7, CITH Walnut 8, CITH Walnut 9, CITH Walnut 10. Similarly SKUAST- K Shalimar, Kashmir, Srinagar has also recently released two selections Hamdan, Sulaiman. These promising varieties has revolutionized the walnut production in Jammu and Kashmir. These varieties can compete in the national and international market.

Latest techniques of walnut budding/grafting have been introduced which have helped in reducing gestation period of this crop. With assistance of APEDA, a Hi-Tech Green House has been set up at different locations at Jammu & Kashmir which is being used for raising budded/grafted walnuts. Walnut cultivation plays a significant role in the economic profile of the farmers living in hilly and backward areas, where economic condition of the people is extremely fragile. 
CONSTRAINTS 

Walnut growing suffers from lack of suitable methods of propagation, inadequate vegetatively propagated plants, lack of standard rootstocks/ cultivars, problems of re-establishment of nursery plant in the orchard, specific climatic requirements, pollination behaviour and lack of suitable pollinizers, long juvenile period and harvesting. Long gestation periods, poor orchard management, and uneven yields (estimated at 18-50 kg/tree/year with nut sizes varying from 24-32 mm) keep walnut production relatively stagnant. 

While conducting the fieldwork for study of genetic diversity of walnut growing areas of Jammu, it was observed that the naturally occurring populations are declining at a fast rate, with few new plantations of known genotype. Cutting of walnut trees for timber and furniture is very common. In Kashmir, walnut is highly valued for making furniture and considerable quantities of wood are being cut and smuggled for this purpose. The trees producing hard shelled nuts are under more threat than thin shelled types because the returns earned after cutting one full grown tree for timber purpose are much higher than income obtained through collection and sale of nuts (over a period of 15 to 20 years). Low productivity due to lack of high quality planting material, poor pollination, low tree density per unit area, predominant terminal bearing, long juvenile period, big tree size, poor filling, poor success rate of grafting, and climatic fluctuations were found to be responsible for limited initiatives for replanting walnut. Seedling derived walnuts commence fruiting at the age of 10 to 15 years, but economic production only commences once trees are quite old (20 to 25 years). Therefore, farmers do not get any income during the non fruiting years. Poor regeneration is also found due to excessive collection of nuts. Further, walnut oil is also used for cooking and people used traditional methods for oil extraction. Therefore even hard shelled nuts are not left to regenerate rather they are preferred for this purpose. Thin shelled nuts were also found to be damaged by birds and monkeys at a premature stage. Birds in these areas make a hole with their long beak and eat away the kernel, without even detaching the nut from the tree. In some areas, farmers are reluctant to share germplasm of good nut morphotypes. Some of the farmers in Dachan and Marwah have very good quality walnut trees in their cultivated lands, but refused to supply walnut samples and bud sticks to the programme for walnut, even when offered payment. People of kishtwar district are predominately engaged in agriculture and walnut production but to lack of proper irrigation facilities and also due to uneconomical holdings the productivity of crops is very low. Walnut in hilly areas are of J&K is mainly concentrated in rural areas where the large majority of under privileged groups and poor farmers. Walnut production has been an important source of income to these people. These borrow money from village money lenders. These people also take goods from the nearby retailers and repay them in time of harvest in the form of walnut produce. By taking advantage of abject poverty of these masses, money lenders and retailers buy these walnuts at fewer prices than they should in view of the market trend. Whatever is produced is not even sufficient to meet their own needs. Apart from these, there are several post-harvest problems in this sector. Constraints in walnut trade include awareness of maturity indices, method of harvesting and non-scientific dehulling. 

Lack of storage facility, drying, grading practices 

Lack of awareness about hygienic protocols condition to handle nuts 

Lack of integrated handling system to manage the nuts 

Non-adoption of international standards on grades 

Lack of processing, storage and orchard management facilities 

Increased competition from overseas suppliers. 

External competition from California, Mexico, China and other countries which are competing with India especially in the EU market

FUTURE STRATEGIES 

India at present lags behind China and the United States in walnut production, “Unlike apple orchards, growers don’t have regular walnut orchards in Jammu & Kashmir. Scientists at Jammu and Kashmir’s agriculture universities are working to make India one among world’s top walnut producers. They believe that once the Jammu & Kashmir will have regular walnut orchards on the pattern of apple orchards, the production will increase manifold within five years. On the advice of the agriculture universities of Jammu & Kashmir the growers have begun developing walnut orchards along the lines of those in the United States, China and other countries. With most trees being 100 to 150 years old, the Agriculture University along with the state’s Horticulture department is also encouraging fresh walnut plantation. 

The Jammu & Kashmir have vast scope of expansion of area under walnut by establishing regular orchards like apple, by providing farmers good quality disease free planting material, by establishing nurseries and mother orchards of lateral bearing high yielding varieties. The walnut growers also have to come forward united in a form of walnut grower associations to formulate strategy with government to get incentives under some scheme or mission. The cultivation and production of walnut will certainly improve the nutrition status, employment and economy of the rural farmers of Jammu & Kashmir.To bring more area under walnut cultivation in cluster mode, state should adopt end-to-end approach involving production, protection, post harvest management, processing and marketing. To achieve this goal, the Pomology Department of SKUAST-K has started distributing thousands of hybrid grafted walnut plants among the growers. “Besides, distribution of walnut plants, they also provide technical assistance to the growers. So far saplings of Hamdan and Suleiman varieties have been distributed among the growers. Scientists claim that the Hamdan and Suleiman varieties are better in quality than Chandlar, Serr, Tutle varieties grown in the United States. 

In Jammu & Kashmir the seedling populations exhibit tremendous genetic variation in tree and phenological traits, colour, shell sealing and in hardness of nuts as well as quality and percentage of kernel. The endemic walnut varieties contain many agronomically excellent properties and specific valuable genes, such as for high content of protein, and strong disease and drought resistances, which have significant potential value for walnut variety improvement (Sharma and Kumar., 1994). Therefore, systematic evaluation of this genetically diverse germplasm needs to be taken up immediately for selecting superior genotypes to build gene repository. Fortunately the selection for most of the traits, being highly heritable, can be accomplished easily. However, in the past decade, under long-term biological or environmental pressure, the walnut resources have been seriously damaged, which may result in increased homogeneity or reduction of genetic variability. The lack of systematic studies of genetic diversity among Juglans species and ecotypes could seriously restrict genetic improvement by limiting exploitation in walnut culture and breeding of many excellent traits found in these landrace lines. Accordingly, it is essential to properly characterize and assess the genetic diversity of landrace walnut resources for protection and breeding utilization. 

Walnut collections made in these regions may hold significant opportunities for obtaining germplasm with desirable traits such as improved cold hardiness, pest and disease resistance, stress tolerance, and palatability, which through breeding could lead to the development of productive cultivars adapted to a much wider geographic and climatic area. For example, millions of walnut trees grow wild in the montane fruit forests of Central Asia. Some exceptionally cold hardy plants have been identified there that produce large, thin-shelled, high-quality nuts. Other selections have been identified that express traits such as repeat bloom, the production of nuts on lateral spurs, highly precocious seedlings (also called “fast- fruiting” trees, which produce flowers one or two year from planting the seed, as well as producing grape-like clusters of nuts on the trees), extremely thin shells, apomictic (clonal) seed development, and resistance to numerous pests and diseases . Breeding new walnut varieties through hybridization is both difficult and time consuming. It is therefore, convenient to exploit existing variability by making appropriate selections based on characters like climatic adaptations, precocity, high productivity, good quality of nut and kernel and resistance to major diseases. Anthracnose disease affect all leaves , leaf petioles, shoots, nuts and peduncles , and has been reported to infect several cultivars of English as well as black walnuts severely.

Because Jammu & Kashmir has suitable agroclimatic conditions and land where high quality walnuts can be grown. Varieties having desirable traits were formerly not easily available, reflecting the limited breeding work, even at the global level. But now many varieties having desirable traits, like dwarf stature, shorter juvenile period, earliness, better nut: kernel ratio and lateral bearing, are available, and these can be used as planting material instead of seedling trees, which generally are lacking in such desirable traits. Jammu and Kashmir government proposes to set up a Walnut Board in the State to give a boost to walnut production in a big way on scientific lines by setting up scientific walnut processing units in various areas of the State. But still more needs to be done. Right now need of the hour is to open up high technology poly-houses to increase the production, popularize dwarf varieties and introduce high-yielding strains/varieties. This will ensure economic growth of the State in general and farming community in particular as horticulture is the backbone of the State’s economy. The close coordination between Horticulture Department and Agriculture Universities of Jammu & Kashmir is imperative so that maximum farmers are benefited. Training for technology transfer is an important component to provide knowledge about the latest developments in the walnut industry through visits to advanced nurseries, walnut farms, walnut manufacturers and government research institutions involved in walnut study programmes. Although walnuts are grown in rain fed areas, the irrigation assumes importance whenever rainfall is deficient. The walnuts grown in draught condition are of poor quality and kernels are yellowish in color. Hence people and government specifically should pay added attention towards the development of irrigation system for the irrigation of walnut trees. Some other steps to be taken are:- 

Promotion of nurseries in private sector to fulfill the huge demand of grafted plants of walnut. 

Introduction of new and improved and high yielding lateral bearing varieties having quality kernels for getting good economic returns to the farmers. 

Linking of Institutions and Universities would be a great help support in this direction. The Central Institution of Temperate Horticulture (CITH) is one of best institution working on walnut and other fruit crops. 

Promotion of drip irrigation system in the walnut orchards to increase the yield and improve the nut quality. 

Dissemination of latest production technology among walnut growers through distribution of package and Practices 

Training and skill up-gradation of nursery men on efficient methods and providing those facilities for vegetative propagation. 

Rejuvenation of old and sick walnut orchards 

Standardization of vegetative propagation techniques of walnuts. 

Establishment of walnut processing units consisting of pre-cooling and storage facilities.

Create technical awareness among farmers for plantation of walnut 

The pests cause lot of damage to walnut produce. More than 2% of total and sometimes even 5% is lost by way of pests.

If the department of Horticulture Planning and Marketing wants to remain relevant in the present scenario viz-a-viz walnut industry the revolutionary steps on scientific terms and conditions as mentioned above in the detailed gist need to be taken to take away the sagging industry out of duress. The imports can be a threat to the dry fruit Industry but Jammu & Kashmir state has a potential for dry fruit if remedial measures are taken. This can be the only way out to challenge the huge imports of walnut from China and other countries so that our fruit industry stays afloat.   
M. A. Khan 

 A.G.M.O. 

 Qazigund

Saffron industry in KASHMIR

NATIONAL SAFRON MISSION OF KASHMIR.

The saffron industry in Kashmir is facing twin problems,on one side the area is shrinking because of road widening and on another side due to unscientific way of growing,the production is taking dent.

Government has taken few steps to increase production under saffron mission by way of enhancing the irrigation facilities but still golden crop desperately needs a frsh lease of life in areas where mission mode has not been implemented.

The growers ascribe the reason of low oroductiin5 because of massive road widening and number of cement factories that have come up in the production zone.

The Kashmiri saffron is world’s best quality and it sells in the range of Rs.2.5 to 3.0 lacs per Kg.

The vagaries of  different sorts which impacted the overall scenario of safron industry in pampore,KASHMIR the hub where 90% of saffron is grown have played havoc with production as well as area under production.

During the year 1997 the total area under safron was 5707 hecters but it has shrunk to mere 3010 hecters upto year 2017 which has further been decrease due to expansion of roads.

With the decrease in area,the production has also decreased from 16MT to 6MT.

During the year 2012-13 the fertility of soil would guarantee the production of 15-20 kgs per kanal but with the advent of industrialisation around the production area the production of golden crop has already plummeted to 7-10 kgs per kanal.

If remedial measures are not taken tge industry may further get compromised and experts of SKUAST-k are of tge opnion that cement dust and lack if irrigation facilities has akso played a role in decreased production.

This is a wake up call,the early we rise to the horn of opportunity,tge earliestvtine wilk be spent to sace saffron industry.

KHAN MUKHTAR

A G M O.