Walnut growers and traders in Kupwara facing difficult times due to foreign competition

In the manner almond producing is getting over, we will be forced to cut the walnut trees, says Mohd Hussain, Vice President, Dry Fruit Association, Kashmir. The dry fruit goods are arriving from other territories like California and Chile. Our dry fruits are no match to them. In appearance the foreign nuts look better than our dry fruits, but in taste, ours is much better and is wholly organic. The Kashmiri dry fruits are good for health, says a walnut grower Irshad Ahmad Mir. He says, the Lieutenant Governor Shri Manoj Sinha should keep an eye on the walnut growers community so that they can prosper. They are troubled that at the mandi, Fruit and Vegetable Market, Kupwara, the dry fruit is under valued at Rs 400-500 only. They do not know what to say. Haji Bahadur Khan,President, Dry Fruit Association, Kashmir says earlier there was no tax and Vat levied on the dry fruit. The dry fruit consumers are rich while the walnut producers are poor. And because of the competition from the foreign products, the walnut traders in Kashmir and the walnut producers are facing difficult times. Since the past 4-5 years, the walnut industry has been suffering. The traders are not able to recover their money. As a consequence, the walnut growers will be forced to cut off the trees, lamented the association president. The dry fruit association members appealed to the LG administration to take steps to increase the production of good quality walnuts.The attention from the government they say will help them better sell their walnut kernels.

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