Walnut cultivators in Kashmir hope for govt’s market intervention



Walnut cultivators in Kashmir hope for govt’s market intervention - Kashmir News -DilPaziir -Digpu
Photo Credits: Aasif Ganaie for DilPaziir / Digpu News Network

Given the huge share of walnuts, people say that they face hardships as the rates are quite low which discourages them year after year in continuing with the cultivation.

Srinagar (J&K) —

At a time when the Walnut cultivators are busy in harvesting the dry fruit, there is only one hope which, according to them, can make their produce profitable — J&K Government’s potential Market Intervention Scheme (MIS).

More than 2.66 lakh metric tonnes of walnuts are cultivated on 89,000 hectares per year in Jammu and Kashmir which contributes over 98 per cent dry fruit’s total production in India.

Given the huge share of walnuts, people say that they face hardships as the rates are quite low which discourages them year after year in continuing with the cultivation.

Walnut cultivators in Kashmir hope for govt’s market intervention - Kashmir News -DilPaziir -Digpu
Photo Credits: Aasif Ganaie for DilPaziir / Digpu News Network

The cultivators claim their business was entirely down last year after the Central government enforced a strict lockdown with the abrogation of the erstwhile State’s special status and now the COVID-19 pandemic has played a spoiler in lowering down the prices further.

“We strongly feel that the government must introduce a Market Intervention Scheme so that our walnuts could fetch the amount of profit that we deserve. There seems no other way through which the rates could stabilize,” says a grower, Abdul Hamid, from Rajpora area in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

“We strongly feel that the government must introduce a Market Intervention Scheme so that our walnuts could fetch the amount of profit that we deserve. There seems no other way through which the rates could stabilize,” says a grower, Abdul Hamid, from Rajpora area in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

Walnut cultivators in Kashmir hope for govt’s market intervention - Kashmir News -DilPaziir -Digpu
Photo Credits: Aasif Ganaie for DilPaziir / Digpu News Network

Market Intervention Scheme is a price support mechanism implemented on the request of State Governments for the procurement of perishable and horticultural commodities in the event of a fall in market prices. It is implemented when there is at least a 10% increase in production or a 10% decrease in the ruling rates over the previous normal year.

Shahid Malla, another cultivator, said, “Last year was a zero-business year as far as walnut trade is concerned. We hoped that this year would be profitable but COVID-19 has dashed all our hopes. Now, it is only up to the government authorities to come to our rescue and devise a mechanism through which we could sell our produce at reasonable rates.”

“The situation is Kashmir doesn’t allow us to be associated with this business anymore but we request the government to initiate steps for the international marketing of the walnuts so that both the government and all those associated with it are benefited at large,” he added.

The cultivators said that the government must bring walnut trade on the international graph at an earliest and help the cultivators with handsome rates.

Walnut cultivators in Kashmir hope for govt’s market intervention - Kashmir News -DilPaziir -Digpu
Photo Credits: Aasif Ganaie for DilPaziir / Digpu News Network

It needs to be mentioned here that it takes a lot of energy and time to prepare and accumulate the stock of walnuts for sale but the prices given at outside Mandis are very low which forces the cultivators to sell the produce within the Valley at unsatisfactory rates.

The walnut cultivators now demand a market intervention scheme from the government so as to fetch them satisfactory rates and avoid the possible losses.

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Dil-Paziir (Urdu; meaning ‘heart-pleasing’) is a special edition news series brought to you by Digpu, sourced from conflict areas starting from Kashmir. Our local journalists have successfully shared many inspirational stories from the valley – from the invention of E-Charkha, automatic ventilator in Kashmir, stories of brotherhood through to the first-ever cricket tourney for Blind sportsmen, all the stories make us awe-struck. These stories are NOT FOR REPRODUCTION.



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