Kulgam, Oct 30: In a promising development for Kashmiri farmers, the introduction of the non-native Persimmon fruit has been proving to be a boon for their income in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district.
This bittersweet, orange-colored fruit, widely recognized as the national fruit of Japan, is flourishing in the region and is yielding better results for farmers than apples.
Shabbir Ahmad Itoo, a farmer from Sonigam in Kulgam with a diverse educational background, has been at the forefront of cultivating non-native Persimmon in the region.
Speaking to India Today TV, Shabbir revealed that his father had initially brought the fruit from Himachal Pradesh to explore its potential in Kashmir.
What sets Persimmon apart as a promising crop for Kashmiri farmers is its low maintenance requirements. Unlike apples, Persimmon plants do not demand extensive care or the use of pesticides. Moreover, this fruit offers significant medicinal value due to its high vitamin C content. It is particularly beneficial for expectant mothers, as it promotes blood circulation and provides relief from joint pains.
Shabbir further explained, “It took us about two years, and now it’s bearing fruits. These plants grow significantly, much like apple trees. Furthermore, it has a promising market value. In Kashmir, this fruit is relatively new, but we successfully introduced it in Delhi, where one kg of these fruits sells for more than Rs 100.”
Persimmon, scientifically known as Diospyros kaki, is a fruit with a rich history dating back over 2,000 years to China. In modern times, China, Japan, and South Korea have emerged as the primary cultivators and leading producers of this delectable fruit, solidifying its significance in East Asian agriculture.
The successful introduction of Persimmon in Kashmir marks a significant step forward for diversifying agricultural practices and expanding income opportunities for local farmers. As the fruit continues to thrive in the region, it offers a promising avenue for further boosting the agricultural economy of Kashmir.