Promising Signs


Garlic production in Kashmir has shown promising signs, with a revenue generation of Rs 300 crores from this year’s production. The production of 67,500 metric tons of garlic, covering 4,500 hectares of land, is a noteworthy achievement. The average sale price of garlic this year has been Rs 100 per kilogram, higher than in previous years. Garlic, a bulb crop closely following onions in importance, accounts for 14 per cent of global cultivation area and 5 per cent of total production. Despite ranking second in terms of area and production, India’s garlic productivity stands at a mere 5.29 tons per hectare, the lowest globally. According to 2010-11 data, India’s garlic cultivation spans 200,700 hectares, yielding 1,061,850 tons, with an average yield of 5.29 tons per hectare. China leads garlic production, followed by India, where major garlic-producing states include Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Orissa, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Bihar. Indian garlic is exported to various countries, including Pakistan, Thailand, the USA, Nepal, Malaysia, and Bangladesh, its traditional market. The global garlic market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 2.7 per cent from 2024 to 2029, increasing from USD 539.35 million to USD 616.20 million. To increase the yield and scope of garlic production in Kashmir, it is essential to address the constraints faced by farmers. Improved varieties of garlic need to be developed and disseminated to farmers, which are high-yielding and disease-resistant. Research and development institutions should focus on developing varieties suitable for Kashmir’s climate and soil conditions. Farmers need to be educated on optimal soil preparation, irrigation management, and crop rotation techniques to enhance soil fertility and reduce disease incidence. Adoption of modern agro-techniques like precision farming, drip irrigation, and mulching can significantly improve garlic yields. Effective management of diseases and pests is crucial to reduce crop damage. Integrated pest management (IPM) strategies and organic farming practices should be promoted. Proper post-harvest handling, storage, and processing techniques can reduce losses and improve the quality of garlic. Adequate market support is essential to encourage farmers to increase production. Establishment of garlic processing units, market linkages, and price stabilization mechanisms can help. Regular training and awareness programs for farmers on improved garlic production techniques, disease management, and market trends can help bridge the knowledge gap. Adequate irrigation facilities are essential for garlic cultivation. The government should invest in developing irrigation infrastructure to support farmers. Crop insurance schemes can protect farmers from crop failures and encourage them to adopt new technologies and practices. Continuous research and development in garlic production, processing, and marketing can help identify new opportunities and address challenges. Garlic production in Kashmir has potential, but it requires strategic interventions to increase yields and improve productivity. By addressing the constraints and implementing the necessary strategies, Kashmir can become a significant player in the global garlic market, generating revenue and employment opportunities for farmers. The government, research institutions and farmers need to work together to achieve this goal.

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