Kashmir will soon produce high-yielding varieties of apples and walnuts, which are said to become a “game changers”. Aijaz Ahmad Bhat, the Director of Horticulture in Kashmir, has stated that about Rs 400 will be saved per sapling, the cultivation time period will be reduced by years and produce per plant will significantly go up with high-density apple varieties.
At this point in time, there are few orchards in Kashmir where the high-density apples are grown, mainly because its procurement cost is almost Rs 600 per sapling. It can be afforded by only those who establish new apple orchards, not in the already existing orchards. The high-density saplings have to be imported from the Netherlands and Italy. Kashmir currently has only 0.07 percent of its 340,000 hectares of total horticulture land under high-density apple cultivation.
“JK can take the lead in South Asia once we are able to produce our own high-density varieties,” Bhat said, adding that this has become possible after an agreement with the National Seed Corporation (NSC) for setting up an Advanced Centre for Horticulture Development in Kashmir.”