As the festivals like Navratra ,Diwali and the wedding season is round the corner in the mainland India, the prices of walnut and walnut kernel has sky rocketed after the shortage of this dry fruit in Jammu Mandi and markets due to the prevailing uncertainty and communication blockade in Kashmir in the wake of revocation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir. As the Kashmiri walnut has not reached the Jammu markets, the prices of this dry fruit have gone up to Rs 900 a kg.According to wire service Kashmir News Service (KNO), Walnuts and walnut kernel has been considered as an important dry fruit since decades in the dry fruit bowls of every household outside the Jammu and Kashmir, but this season the walnut kernel lovers have either to purchase the dry fruit at much higher rates or lesser tastier kernel imported from United States.As per traders and commission agents, 85 percent of walnut kernel production comes from Kashmir to meet the demands of buyers in Indian markets, however, the supply has badly affected this season.The average price of walnut kernel in the wholesale market of Jammu mandi has increased by 30 percent this season in last one and a half month after no fresh supply from Kashmir.
“We could have sold the fresh supply of walnuts up to Rs 380 per kilogram in Jammu’s Narwal dry fruit Mandi. I saw in Jammu the same quality being sold at Rs 850 to 900 per kilogram in this season,” said Abdul Samad a walnut trader from Ganderbal in central Kashmir, adding, despite higher prices there were a good number of buyers.One can see huge stock of walnut crop along with hull lying almost in every household as farmers have not processed the crop so far.The distressed farmers said the month of September is harvest season for the crop, but this season the trade is nearly killed. “The demand picks up with the onset of the Navratras in the last week of September, which the traders missed this season,” Suhail Ahmad, a walnut cultivator from Anantnag said.This season the prices have been increasing gradually and in case walnut supply doesn’t come to the mandis from Kashmir, the prices may go much higher in coming weeks.Anil Raina, a walnut trader from Srinagar now settled in Jammu said: “There is 85 percent shortage of walnuts and kernel this season so far, if supply from Kashmir is not resumed the selling prices will break all the past records” (KNO).