SRINAGAR: Central Institute of Temperate Horticulture (CITH) has successfully cultivated olives in Kashmir Valley.
Sixty varieties were brought from United States, Egypt and Italy. Six Italian varieties gave good results in Kashmirs temperate climate, said Nazir Ahmed, Director CITH.
Olive cultivation in the potential areas of Kashmir can produce a large quantity of oil which may bring Kashmir olive oil imports to zero. There is a vast potential for olive cultivation in Kashmir which can be adopted by new plantation and grafting available in wild varieties, he said. These Olive trees are four years old. We planted them in 2008. The commercial bearing begins after 10-12 years when the tree grows fully and fruit size is also enhanced.
The average yield of olives in Spain is about 2.5 tones. We can generate a better production after treating our trees scientifically, he said.
According to research by central institute of temperate horticulture the prevailing environment, minimum/maximum temperature, soil types, average rainfall and other related growth factors in Kashmir areas are according to olive cultivation requirements.
Meanwhile in this context, the department is holding awareness and training programs on olive cultivation techniques and produce value added products.
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