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Forget apples, Kashmiri oranges are making the cut

December 21, 2022
In a garden in Srinagar the fruit of passion is an Orange

Srinagar: It is peak winter season and farmers at Uroosa village on the Line of Control (LoC) are harvesting oranges.

Orange cultivation started only a few years before on an experimental basis. Elated by its success, farmers in Uroosa are growing malta oranges on a large scale to earn more profits.

 “This fruit was introduced by my grandfather Late Mohammad Ashraf Khan some decades before. Later more people started growing it on their lawns. When it bore fruits, local framers decided to do orange cultivation for commercial purposes,” said Mohammad Altaf Khan, Sarpanch of the Urossa village in Uri.

 Khan said Uroosa is fast becoming the orange village of Kashmir “Currently, most of the people have planted orange trees in their backyard. In the coming years, we hope that the village produces malta oranges in huge quantity as SKUAST and the horticulture department are providing a helping hand to the farmers,” Khan said.

 Experts said the climate and soil of Uroosa, which is relatively warmer than rest of the Kashmir, are conducive for orange cultivation.

 A lot of the farmers from the village are planning to switch to this exotic crop. “People here mostly grow maize and the land is utilized for the grazing of animals. Since the climate of our area is conducive for malta oranges, olives, and lemon, young farmers are trying their hand at the exotic crops,” said Abdul Samad Khan, a local.

 Hamid Ali Khan, Horticulture Development Officer, Uri, told The Kashmir Monitor that Uroosa, Chakra, and Salamabad have a huge potential to grow exotic citrus fruits.

 “Last year, we distributed 12000 citrus fruit plants including lemon and oranges to the locals of Uroosa, Salamabad, and Chakra. The locals planted these saplings and we hope to see a variety of citrus fruits growing in Uri in the coming years,” he said.

 Khan said the locals have not yet started growing these fruits on commercial lines. “We observed that the malta oranges grown in these areas were much tastier. We are now raising awareness among the people to start growing these varieties commercially so that the horticulture of Uri sector gets developed,” he said.

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Avatar of Firdous Hassan

Firdous Hassan

Self-help believer, a gadget lover and nature's admirer.
Presently Senior reporter at The Kashmir Monitor with an experience of nine years in reporting business, crime, defense, politics and environment.Have also contributed to reputed media organizations including First Post, India Spend, Forbes India