Sources claim that Californian walnuts have dealt a death blow to the Kashmir industry. For the fifth straight year, walnut prices have dropped by almost 50 percent, even though the local produce is organic and has a high nutrient content compared to Chinese and Californian varieties.
President Haji Bahadur Khan from the Kashmir Walnut Growers Association has stated that both kernels and shelled walnuts sell at “throwaway” prices in the market. “The current market is no different compared to the previous years. Currently, kernel sells at Rs 200 to Rs 800 per kg. This was selling at Rs 1200 per kg a few years before,” he said. Similarly, the rates of shelled walnut range from Rs 120 to Rs 200 per kilogram.
“In 2016-17, one kilogram of shelled walnut would sell at Rs 270- 400 per kilogram. We have been telling the same to the government for the last many years but it has failed to find any solution. Like apples, walnuts are an important constituent of Kashmir horticulture sector and require prompt action and attention from the government,” he added.
The gradual decline in the market for Kashmir walnuts has prompted many traders to give up.
[ Rs 100 = €1.30 ]