Srinagar: For the first time in the last six years, farmers have harvested a bumper nadru (lotus stem) crop this season.
Thanks to decreasing pollution levels and new techniques, the production of nadru has increased for the first time since 2014 floods.
“It is for the first time after the 2014 floods that we are witnessing a bumper crop in Dal Lake. Currently, the dwellers and cultivators are busy in harvesting nadru,” said Ghulam Rasool Akhoon, President Zamindar Union Dal Lake.
Akhoon said the increase in production of Nadru will help in maintaining the supply-demand ratio and stable the rates in the market.
“In 2018, the production was just 40 %. It increased to 60% in 2019 and this year we have 90 % production,” he said.
Similar reports are pouring from Wular where farmers are busy harvesting nadru.
“Nadru re-appeared in many areas where it was not growing for the last few years. This year the production of water chestnut was also good,” said Ali Mohammad from Watlab, Sopore.
The bumper production of nadru has brought down rates across Kashmir. In the valley’s vegetable markets, a bouquet of nadru costs Rs 140-160 against Rs 250 last year.
“We don’t have enough buyers now because of the economic stress in the market,” Akhoon said.
Nadru is a means of livelihood for thousands of people in Dal Lake who suffered due to a slump in tourism season. Many people associated with the tourism trade have switched over to nadru cultivation to support their families
“I would operate a shikara earlier, but due to the lack of tourists I have switched over to transportation and sales of nadru,” said Suhail Ahmad, a shikarawala.
Nadru is a popular delicacy in Kashmir and is usually cooked at festivals and functions. Nadru Yakhini is a popular gourmet served in niche hotels across the country.