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Proceedings of the Workshop on Promotion of Walnut and Almond in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand held on 22-23rd March, 2013

Institutions/ Participants

1. Amity Institute of Horticulture Studies & Research (AIHSR) Amity University Uttar Pradesh

2. Dr. Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, Nauni, Solan, (H.P)

3. IARI, Regional Station, Shimla

4. NBPGR, Regional Station, Phagli, Shimla, (H.P)

5. Directorate of Horticulture, Himachal Pradesh

6. Agriculture& Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA)

7. Directorate of Horticulture, Uttarakhand

8. Walnut and Other Nut Fruit Growers Association of India (WANGAI)

9. Walnut Exporters Association of J & K, Jammu

10. SANCHAR (NGO), Bhikhaji Cama Place, Delhi-66

11. M/S V K C & Nuts, Sahibabad, Gandhi Nagar Jammu Tawi, J & K

12. Representatives of farmers associations, farmers from Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand

Two days workshop for the promotion of Walnut and Almond in Himachal and Uttarakhand was held at Directorate of Mushroom Research, ICAR, Chambaghat, Solan, Himachal Pradesh organized by Amity University Uttar Pradesh, Noida with the financial assistance of National Horticulture Board, Gurgaon, Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India.

Experts from YSPUHF, Nauni, Solan, IARI, Regional Station Shimla, NBPGR, Shimla, APEDA, Officers of State Departments of Horticulture, H.P. & Uttarakhand, Walnut& other Nut Fruit Growers Association of India (WANGAI) and farmers of both the States participated and deliberated on the issues in details.

The workshop was inaugurated and chaired by Dr Jagmohan Singh Chauhan Advisor Amity Institute of Horticulture Studies & Research, Amity University Uttar Pradesh (Former Vice Chancellor and Chairman of Research Advisory Committee of Central Institute for Temperate Horticulture, ICAR Srinagar). He advised the growers to come forward for walnut and almond plantations at the elevation ranging from 5000 feet to 7500 feet as these nut crops are good for diversification of horticulture. There are great fluctuations in the production of apples and other fruits due to climate change and weather conditions which are changing every year. The demand of both the walnut and almond is increasing year after year both within country as well as in abroad. Therefore, the steps are required to be taken to increase the area under these nut fruit crops so as to meet the demand of nuts in future. The country will also be able to save foreign exchange because at present the walnut and almond are being imported in large quantity. These two nut crops are high value & low volume crops and do not have marketing problem as these are less perishable. Both these fruit crops are highly nutritive & very good for health & wellness of human beings.

Dr. N. C. Nainwal, Assistant Director, Amity Institute of Horticulture Studies & Research welcomed the participants and explained about objective and purpose of the workshop. He told that the major concern is unavailability of grafted plants of walnuts. The farmers are planting seedling plants of mixed varieties which are unknown to every body from the nurserymen to supplier to the growers. There are some good varieties of thin shelled walnut in Jammu and Kashmir but all are terminal bearing varieties and there is not any infra structure and mechanism to produce more number of grafted plants to be supplied to other states, commercially.

The President of WANGAI, Shri K C Pandey explained how he managed the walnut and almond plantations in his own orchard at JavikKala Nursery, Bayeri, Ranikhet, Almora, Uttarakhand with the help of CITH (ICAR), Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir. He emphasized that the growers should come forward with a strong association by taking membership of WANGAI as this organization will try to solve the major crises of unavailability of planting material of both walnut& almond.

Dr. K.K. Pramanick, Station Head, IARI, Regional Station Shimla delivered a presentation and told the growers and other participants that Regional Station of IARI at Shimla has identified a lateral bearing variety of walnut (Pusa Khod-1) and this year they have made 100 grafts of this cultivar, the plants which can be given to the private nurseries for plantation during January, 2014.

Dr B. S. Thakur and Dr. Joginder Singh Chandel, Scientists from Department of Fruit Science, UHF, Nauni-Solan gave their presentations about the performance of some of the imported varieties of walnut and the new vegetative propagation techniques of walnut and almond. It was observed that after CITH, Srinagar, UHF Nauni is the other Institute/ University where the work on research and development of walnut is going in a systematic manner. The multi-location trials in the grower’s field and dissemination of vegetative propagation technology for the production of sizeable number of plants at private nurseries are the needs of time. There is a need to constitute an expert panel of concerned scientists for organizing trials and trainings on these aspects in both the hilly states.

Dr. Amit C. Kharakwal in his presentation on “Micro propagation of walnut and almond” opined that micro propagation of walnut and almond is feasible on large scale. However, protocols needs to be standardized depending upon the genotype.

Mr Gunjan Jain, Director/Owner M/S V K C & Nuts, informed the growers about the increasing demand of walnut & almond in India and abroad. He informed the growers about how China and USA have increased their area under walnut and its production with in last twenty years. He assured the forum that whatever is planned for the development and promotion of walnut and other nut crops in the country, the Exporters Association will be fully involved itself and do its best efforts to achieve the goal.

The growers from Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand agreed to come forward for the membership of WANGAI to make it a strong platform with grower’s contribution in terms of policy, area expansion, production and research and development of walnut and other nut crops

The prospects identified by the experts while participating with the fruit growers, nurserymen and exporters for the promotion of walnut and almonds in the States of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are as under:

● Both the States have suitable agro climatic conditions and available land for growing/production of good quality walnuts and almonds.

● Now many varieties having desirable traits, like dwarf stature, shorter juvenile period, earliness, better nut: kernel ratio and lateral bearing, are available, and these can be used & utilized as planting material instead of seedling trees, which generally are lacking in such desirable traits.

● Walnut has both alimentary and industrial uses. The kernel is rich in fat and minerals and is a concentrated source of energy. Walnuts are a high-energy food, rich in oil (including the preferred omega-3 fatty acids), vitamins and minerals. It is extensively used for cooking oil in tribal areas of the region. Walnut is reported to enhance appetite, promote blood circulation and keep the skin delicate. Walnut hull is used to dye fabrics of rugs and dresses. In India, the root bark (locally known as dandasa) is extensively used for colouring (red) the lips and teeth. It is also valued as a healthy snack food and bakery ingredient. The demand of this fruit is increasing manifold.

● earlier, the most of the walnut-growing areas were either in remote places or in tribal areas from where marketing was difficult. Now, with the availability of better communications and road networks, marketing to cities can be done easily.

● Walnut and Almond are less perishable commodities and have good storability. These can, therefore, be transported easily to distant places, including for export.

● The package of practices for growing walnut and almond have been standardized and made available to the farmers by various Research Institutes/ State Agri. Universities.

Recommendations of the workshop: The following recommendations emerged from the deliberations held during workshop:-

1. An advisory panel should be constituted by NHB, Gurgaon under the Chairmanship of Dr. Jagmohan Singh Chauhan, Former Vice Chancellor who is the expert of walnut available in India with the following experts in the panel.

a. Dr. B. S. Thakur, Professor, UHF, Nauni, Solan b. Dr. Joginder Singh Chandel, Professor, UHF, Nauni, Solan c. Dr. K. K. Pramanick, Station Head, Regional Station, IARI, Shimla – 4 d. Dr. V.D. Rana, Scientist Incharge, NBPGR, Regional Station, Phagli, Shimla-4 e. Dr. N. C. Nainwal, Assistant Director, AIHSR, Amity University, Uttar Pradesh f. Mr. Gunjan Jain, Director, M/S VKC & Nuts Jammu Tawi, J & K

2. After deliberations, presentations and interaction with the experts and farmers, it was decided that the plants of the following lateral bearing varieties are required to be imported from USA with the financial support from National Horticulture Board, Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India.

1) Chandler 2) Howard 3) Tulare 4) Sexton 5) Forde 6) Gillet 7) Cisco

These lateral varieties are suitable for high density planting, start bearing early and give more productivity per unit area as compared to terminal bearing varieties available in India. Some of the walnut varieties which are lateral bearing developed and commercialized in France such as Lara, Fernor, Fernette etc are also required to procured through NHB finance assistance for plantations.

3. About 5000 plants of above selected seven varieties are required to be imported with the financial assistance of National Horticulture Board, Gurgaon for plantation in Private Nurseries and in Nurseries of State Agricultural/ Horticulture Universities for evaluation and further propagation.

4. The budwood of recommended & well established varieties in H.P. viz. Pratap, Kotkhai Selection (Kainthal selection) and Govind are available with Horticulture & Forestry University, Solan. WANGAI will organize the collection of budwood from these trees under the guidance of experts of UHF, Nauni in the month of July, 2013. The scion wood will be given to the private nursery in H.P. & Uttarakhand who are interested and will be having walnut seedlings for budding/grafting. The experts of the Advisory panel will provide their expertise during initial years. It was advised by the expert that WANGAI should submit a proposal of Action Plan with gectors of the States of H.P. and Uttarakhand and copy to Commissioner Horticulture Government of India immediately so that ‘Central/ State Governments’ can be contacted well in time for financial assistance.

5. Bud wood will be collected from the following sources in the month of July, 2013

1) UHF, Nauni, Solan 2) Sher-e-Kashmir university, Srinagar, J & K 3) Horticulture Farm, Kotkhai, Distt- Shimla of UHF 4) CITH, Srinagar, J& K 5) NBPGR, Shimla 6) IARI Regional Station, Shimla

6. The Ranichauri and Bharsar Research Station of Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali Horticulture University should be explored for the availability budwood of “Chakrota” selection of walnut and establishment of State of Art Research Center for R & D on walnut and other nut crops. Amity University should write a letter to the Vice Chancellor of the University and organize a visit of 2-3 member expert panels headed by Dr. Jagmohan Singh Chauhan for on the spot study for this purpose.

7. The nurseries established at or above 4000 feet height will be identified for the production of budded & grafted plants of walnut & almond.

8. UHF, Nauni will make available the number of grafters for private nurseries on cost basis.

9. Eleven nursery growers from Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand who participated in the workshop have shown their interest to be the part of this holistic program and have been listed for the vegetative propagation of walnut plants & establishment of Mother Blocks of elite varieties of walnut & almond.

10. The short duration trainings of grafters, and nursery growers and walnut growers will be organized on regular basis for creating awareness about the latest technologies with the financial support of National Horticulture Board, HMNEH and other available Government schemes.

11. Identification of sites for nursery raising and to establish mother nurseries of walnuts in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Arunanchal Pradesh etc under HMNEH scheme will be undertaken and finalized with the help of state departments of Horticulture.

12. Survey and study would be organised by WANGAI on the availability of thin shelled walnuts of good quality in the above mentioned states- by marking the elite trees for possible bud-wood collection for grafting.

13. The almond plants of varieties viz. Non Pareir, California Paper Shell, IXL and Merced which have been identified and evaluated by ICAR, Central Institute of Temperate Horticulture, Srinagar are required to be procured & multiplied for the distribution among the farmers of H.P., Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh. Recently released indigenous cultivars like Shalimar, Makhdoom and Waris by CITH, Srinagar have also shown promise and can be procured for further propagation & distribution. The cultivars like Caramel, Ne Plus ultra Pedre and Butle almond, which are highly productive can also be imported by National Horticulture Board from USA to have broad base of varieties for growing both as green almonds and dried nuts in the state of H.P., Uttarakhand & Arnachal Pradesh. These varieties can also escape frosts due to the late flowering time.

14. Survey of the possible area for expansion of walnuts and almond in H.P. & Uttarakhand will be organized. Similarly a study on identification of problems and prospects of growing improved varieties of walnuts and development of production & post harvest technologies in walnut growing states is required to be carried out.

15. Standardization of production technology of organic walnuts/and almonds in association with State Universities and ICAR institutes is required to be carried out.

16. The exposure to the modern nurseries of walnut & almond in the developed countries will be given to the nursery growers and grafters for sharing of the knowledge and information with premiere Nurseries, Institutes and Universities abroad under NHB scheme.