Umaisar Gull Ganie
Srinagar, May 23 (KNO): While Kashmir retains the title for best honey production, the region is also renowned for its garlic production and has made its mark in the national market.
Official figures accessed by news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), reveal that in the year 2021-2022, a total of 1776.50 hectares in the Kashmir valley was under garlic production and the total garlic produced in the year was 553480 quintals- out of which 110696 quintals were exported outside the Jammu Kashmir region.
The figures also reveal that farmers made a revenue of Rs 44.27 crore during the last year.
In Kashmir valley, the Pulwama district produces the largest quantity of garlic while as the garlic from the Kulgam district of Jammu Kashmir is one of the purest varieties that can survive in the cold and high-altitude environment.
Irshad Ahmed Dar, Progressive farmer and a members of Kisan Advisory board said that the production of garlic happens in the entire valley, however, the south Kashmir’s Pulwama district has the highest production. “In the last year, the district produced garlic worth Rs 21 crores,” he said.
Expressing sadness, he said that despite the rates of essential commodities and vegetables including garlic having sky-rocketed in the markets, the producers are getting very less for the produce. He said that the administration has not ensured a fair price for the sellers and has done little to ensure that. He demanded that the administration should take the issue of rates seriously otherwise the farmers would have to quit the production. “In market garlic is sold around 40 rupees while the farmer gets merely 20 rupees for a kilogram,” Irshad said.
The official denied the claims and said the farmers are getting Rs 30 a kilogram and once the garlic is dried the rates go up. “The farmers sell garlic when it is ripe. Then it needs to be dried up and there is a process involved before it goes to the market,” Director Agriculture Kashmir, Chowdhary Mohammad Iqbal told KNO.
He said that action will be taken against anyone found indulging in unfair pricing over the garlic—(KNO)