Anaar, a new cash crop in Kullu valley

 Shimla: Fetching good returns to those who have taken to its cultivation, Khandari and Bhagva Anar (Pomegranate) varieties are proving to be bread earner fruits to many farmers in Bajaura-Bhunter belt of Kullu valley.

The exotic variety of Khandari Anar has adapted very well to the soil structures of Kullu valley says Ghanshyam Thakur, an grower of the fruit from Jarad village.

With the fruit fetching a price in the band of Rs 70 -140, per Kg at the Bhunter farm market yard, Thakur adds, “having an prospective annual revenue of Rs 7 lakhs from an acre of Anar orchard land, it certainly can be a very good diversified cash crop.

Even with a minimum of crop care that other fruits require, one can earn a revenue of upto Rs 2 lakhs per crop, says Thakur.

The fruit being rich in Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), potassium and polyphenols could also be of much use to fight anemia, which inflicts over 65 percent women in the state, says health officials.

Khandari Anar, an exotic variety as the name suggests and home grown Bhagva variety are the predominant types that are grown in the valley that have been supported by research at Dr. Y.S Parmar Horticulture University, Solan.

With Europeans having taken a fancy for the fruit, APEDA export data shows that from a meager export figure of 7 tons in 1999, it had risen to 35,000 tons in 2010.

Mohan Verma is a seasoned journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for news agencies and fast paced online media.

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