Growing lemon is commercially not viable: SKUAST
After oranges, now some people have started growing lemon in Kashmir for last few years. Few families in Tengpora, Magarmal Bagh in Srinagar and Pinglish, Naibasti area in Tral have got the lemon yield also.
Earlier, some families in Srinagar and Rajouri had grown oranges in their kitchen garden.
Rukhsana Bakshi of Magarmal Bagh in Srinagar, Srinagar has been growing lemon at her farm in Tengpora.
“Everyone is surprised to see lemons in our farm. We have been cultivating Kashmiri lemons since 2012. Even though, the production is increasing seasonally but the taste and size is comparatively better than rest of the varieties,” she said.
Another farmer Shahzada from Naibasti Tral said many people are growing lemon in her area for past many years.
As per study conducted by National Research Centre for Citrus, Nagpur, Mahrashtra .Citrus is the commercially viable fruit crop grown in more than 135 countries with India ranks at sixth producing 4.87 million tones. Citrus holds a significant place in the horticulture wealth and economy of India as third largest fruit industry after banana and mango.
The citrus rich fruit mainly lemon is scientifically called as “Citrus limon” is used for medication, cosmetics, juice, salad and tea.
However, agriculture experts said growing lemon is not viable for Kashmiri farmers.
“Kashmir is not the appropriate place for growing lemons. Growing oranges was the first and foremost option if it was so,” said Dr. Shafiq Ahmed Wani, Director Research Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir (SKUAST).
He added growing citrus is not feasible for Kashmir like growing Apple is not feasible in Chennai.
Prof. Nisar Ali, a noted economist from Srinagar, said citrus fruit cultivation is viable if government intervenes.
“I have seen in my vicinity the cultivation of oranges and a lemon, if government can pay heed on the lemon production it is possible on larger scale.”
A renowned scientist I P Singh at National Research Centre for Citrus, Nagpur, Mahrashtra opined that lemon should be produced in Kashmir at large scale as the zone is well-suited.
Meanwhie, Chief Horticulture Officer, Srinagar, R K Tikku ruled out the lemon production in Kashmir.
“Growing lemon at few places in Kashmir does not mean that it can be produced commercially. The Kashmir is not feasible for citrus production as the climatic conditions are not appropriate for it.”
However, the department will take samples from the areas to sent them for tests in research plant, he added.