Kashmir’s decaying almond orchards to get new lease of life
CITH develops technique to rejuvenate ageing trees
Srinagar, Apr 2: In a bid to give new lease of life to decaying almond orchards, Centre Institute of Temperate Horticulture has “developed new techniques for rejuvenating the ageing almond trees.”
Giving details about the research, Scientist at CITH, K.K Srivastava told Greater Kashmir that the productivity of almond in Kashmir “is very low as compared to that in the advanced countries due to old and decayed orchard, poor or no canopy management, no irrigation and fertilization etc.”
“We thought if we cut the old trees and plant new ones it will consume lot of time and it will result in socio-economic problems,” Srivastava said, adding that their team of scientists at CITH led by its Director Nazeer Ahmad thought of developing rejuvenating technique and after “a lot of hard work and dedication we were successful.”
“Rejuvenation technique involves pruning of first order branch of almond trees in December – January, thereafter top grafting with Waris Variety and Pranyaz as pollinizer.” He said.
To mention, the research was conducted by Director CITH, Nazeer Ahmad, Scientists, K.K Srivastava, Dinesh Kumar and Sunil Kumar Bhat.
Kumar said the rejuvenation programme was initiated in participatory mode in the almond growing belts of Budgam, Pulwama, Islamabad (Anantnag) districts of J&K.
“For popularization of the technology, CITH (ICAR) is imparting field training to almond growers. Institute has developed extension manuals in Hindi, English and Urdu for the orchardists,” Kumar said, adding that any almond orchard owner can contact CITH for getting information or assistance.
Pertinently, India has 23.81 thousand hectares under almond cultivation yielding 17.23 thousand tonne production. Jammu and Kashmir ranks highest in area and production wise in India.
Productivity of India is 0.73 tonne/ha as compared to world average 1.5 tonne/ha.
Pertinently, a survey of almond belt of Kashmir (Pulwama, Budgam and Islamabad (Anantnag)), has revealed that more than 50-70 per cent almond orchards have their economic age from 30 to 40 years. The survey found some of the orchards were 70 years old.
It is believed that rejuvenation technique will give impetus to production of almonds in Kashmir and will benefits its farmers.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 2 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 2 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 3 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST
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