Bashir Ahmad War, a farmer from Sopore village of Kashmir is becoming a talk of the town with his Kiwi farming. Bashir Ahmad War, a farmer from Warpora Sopore visited Shimla three years back for some assignment. He was impressed and got inspired with several farmers in Shimla who had switched to Kiwi cultivation.
In the beginning, War prepared almost five kanals of land in his locality for a Kiwi orchard and got some plants from SKUAST Kashmir and took help from the horticulture and agriculture departments but later he went to Shimla to get some more Kiwi plants and started his own Kiwi farm at Warpora Sopore.
War told Greater Kashmir tough apple remains the most important cash crop of the valley but however he suggested that the Horticulture sector in Kashmir can go for introducing new varieties of fruits for better use of land and resources and added that Kiwi farming can play an important role in creating job opportunities and could be a turning point.
“A piece of Kiwi is being sold at Rs 25-30, while an apple costs Rs 5-8. Therefore, it has immense potential and can provide much-needed cash flow to the people,” Bashir said.
War informed that Kiwis don’t need a pesticide spray which could save huge amount of money and advised that people should also cultivate Kiwi crop side by side keeping in view the market value and health benefits of Kiwis.
Bashir has set up a Kiwi plant nursery where more than five thousand plants have been grown. “Last year I had grown twenty five hundred plants which I distributed free of cost among farmers with an aim to boost the crop across Kashmir,” he said.
This year, War anticipates a bumper crop of roughly 25 to 30 quintals, and both local and outside fruit merchants are contacting him to purchase the produce.