The Jammu and Kashmir Economy depends mostly on traditional form of occupation. Unaffected and unaltered by modern day industrial developments and changing times, the indigenous traditional occupations of farming, animal husbandry and horticultureforms the backbone of the economy of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Popularly referred to as the valley of flowers, the Kashmir horticulture is one of the prominent economic sector of the state. Known for the wide variety of fruits and flowers, the horticultural sector forms the backbone of the economy of Jammu and Kashmir.The horticultural sector contributes around twelve hundred crores to the annual income of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The state government has declared the horticulture to be one of the most important economic sectors of the state that has contributed immensely to the strengthening of the financial condition of Jammu and Kashmir.
Blessed with a salubrious climate and suitable soil, Kashmir produces many different kinds of fruits and flowers. The majority of the local population of Jammu and Kashmir is directly or indirectly involved with horticulture of the state.The government of Jammu and Kashmir has devised several plans to improve the marketing strategy of the numerous horticultural products of the state. Most of the products of horticulture are exported that helps the state to earn a large chunk of the revenue.
The Department of Horticulture has formulated many different kinds of schemes to enhance the growth of horticultural products. Some of the most important schemes are the Agriculture Export Zones and Technology Mission. According to the Agriculture Export Zone, Kashmir has been acknowledged to be the Agri export zone of quality apples, and walnuts. The Technology Mission aims to further improve the infrastructural amenities of the horticultural sector of the state.
The Kashmir horticulture is a symbol of flourishing economic condition of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. An integral part of the Jammu and Kashmir economy, the variety of horticultural products of the region has earned world-wide fame because of its good quality and taste. Few products are as under:-
Apple: It has various varieties like Ambri, Delicious, Maharaji,American, Chamora, Rajakwari, and Hazaratbali. These varieties of Apple are Indigenous to Kashmir and continue to keep its superiority by virtue of its crisp, sweet flesh and excellent aroma. Delicious apple has a longer shelf life and is an excellent dessert variety. Maharaji is a world renowned variety. Apples are widely grown in Kashmir valley.
Cheery: It has various varieties like Awwal number, misri, makhmali, double
Pear: It has various varieties like pear William, Chinese sandy pear
Almond: Kashmir Almond known for their superiority of taste. It is most popular amongst consumers because of highly nourishing and medicinal value. Almond kernels are used in confectionary. The harvesting time of almond is May .
Walnut: Kashmir walnut is popular within the country as well as in foreign market. It reduces/maintain the cholesterol level in human beings. Walnuts are exported to foreign countries. Walnut kernels are used in confectionary. Oil is also extracted from Walnut kernels. It isharvested in October.
Plum: it is medium in sizeandRoundish in Shape. ItsSkin is thin and smooth. Flesh Deep Red, juicy, sweet and full of aroma. Harvesting period is August-September
Strawberry: Earliest fruit available in Kashmir. Sub-tropical areas of Jammu have potential to grow the crop under irrigated conditions. Valued for early propagation and early maturity. High yield with 5 to 9 percent sugar.
Apricot: The Apricot is known by the name of Gilgiti Sweet. It is medium in size and oblong to ovate in shapehaving Color Yellow (Fresh), Brown (Dried). It is moderately flavoured and sweet. The Harvesting Time is between June-July.
Saffron: It is a Cash crop of J&K state. Saffron is known as a Golden Condiment and having medicinal value. It is a natural dyestuff and also used as spice. It has delicate aroma and pleasing flavour. It is a Potential foreign exchange earner. It is mostly cultivated in Kashmir and Kishtwar. Harvesting time is October-November.