Although the production of almond fruit crops is lower this year, a favourable weather and new varieties of trees improved the quality almonds in Budgam district and is expected to help growers to get a good return.
“This year almond quality is good and the crop was of good quality. The quantity is less but the quality is good. Irrigation facility was also there this time. Kashmir’s almond is famous because it’s oily,” said Irshad Ahmad, a grower.
“Almonds quality is very good this time. They are very sweet this time and customers are also not complaining. People are also getting employed for the harvesting of this crop,” said Nissar Ahmad, another grower.
The Central Institute for Temperate Horticulture (CITH) and Sheri Kashmir University of Agriculture Science and Technology (SKUAST) have introduced these new trees which in turn resulted in the production of the good quality of almond.
The almond business in Kashmir has also become quite popular these days among the youth. Apart from almonds, Kashmir is producing fine quality of apples, pears, cherries, grapes, pomegranates, mulberry, peaches, apricots, walnuts which are famous worldwide.
The horticulture department lays most thrust upon Kagzi due to its production capacity and late blooming properties but there are varieties of almonds which are grown in the Valley and some of them include — Shalimar, Makdoon, Waris, and Kagzi (almond with softshell).
“This year quality has tremendously improved. We have 10 varieties here. We have exotic varieties grown here this year. They are thinned shell and are sweet in taste and good return is also expected,” said Dr Javaid Iqbal Mir, Senior Scientist CITH.