Almond growers in Kashmir ready to hit markets

September 9th, 2008 - 2:28 pm ICT by ANI  

Werwan (J&K), Sep 9 (ANI): With the almond harvesting in its final stage, growers in Kashmir are ready to hit the market.
Widely known for their superior quality and taste, Kashmiri almonds are very popular. The almonds are also grouped on the basis of shell thickness as “Papery”, “Thin-shelled”, and “Thick-shelled “.
With a comparatively good weather this season, the growers in Warwan village, famous for its almonds, are hoping for a better return.
“The season has been good for farming, as it rained well. We are working hard and hoping to get good money as the harvest is good,” said Nazir Ahmed, an almond grower.
The state authorities are also hopeful of good almond production this year, as compared to last years” production.
“Last year’’s production was around 11, 000 metric tonne and this year’’s is slated to be around 13, 000 metric tonne. The main reason is the favorable weather condition which helped in boosting the almond cultivation in the state,” said M.S. Qasba, Director, Horticulture, Kashmir.
Shalimar, Makdoon and Waris are some of the varieties of almonds that are grown in Kashmir.
The almond cultivation is restricted to selected hilly areas of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
There are two varieties of almond, sweet almond and bitter almond. There are thin-skinned and thick-skinned among the sweet variety. The thin-skinned, known as Kagzi in vernacular, is the best for use. The bitter variety of almonds should not be used as they contain prussic acid, a deadly poison. They have, however, some commercial importance and are used for producing almond oil, perfume and cosmetics.
According to government records, about 16, 000 hectares of land are under almond cultivation. (ANI)

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