Heat favors mulberry crop


SRINAGAR: Mulberry growers in Jammu and Kashmir are happy as bad weather conditions and excessive rainfall has worked in favor of the fruit’s production.

The growers in Srinagar, are content with the production as the climatic conditions have proved to be conducive for the cultivation of mulberry fruit – a new favourite among the foreign tourists.

“This year climate was not too good. There was heavy rainfall, heavy downpour from the month of February up to May. But in some plants we are seeing there are so many other fruits, which are grown in Kashmir valley. It is famous for apple, strawberry, and cherry. Though due to rainfall there was some damage, which is observed in different types of plants. But in mulberry plants the production of the mulberry fruit has tremendously increased,” said Khurshid Ahmad, Field Officer, Division of Sericulture.

Initially, mulberries were not very sought after but the growers have toiled hard to popularize it, which has reaped fruitful results.

All those associated with the production are thrilled as the market value of the fruit has risen in the last few years.

The fruit contains several nutritional properties, helpful for curing diabetes. Mulberry leaves are also used for cocoon production.

“It has many benefits. It is good for health and tourists like the taste of it. They prefer it over cherries and apples too, which in turn is profitable for us. It is in demand in industries too for the production of jam,” said a grower, Mohammad Shaffi.

The growers estimate the production of mulberries this year to go beyond 25 quintals, out of which around 16 quintals will be sent to agro-based industries. The production of the plant is also helping boost employment in the valley.

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