Kashmir sees surge in chestnut sales as winter approaches

SRINAGAR, OCT 21: As winter sets in in Kashmir, the demand for chestnuts is on the rise. Both locals and tourists are savouring the unique taste and nutritional benefits of this seasonal treat.

Tourists, in particular, are delighted to discover and enjoy chestnuts, a fruit that may be new to them.

Tourists like Hardish Kumar and his wife Priyanka from Delhi expressed their enthusiasm for this new culinary experience and planned to take chestnuts back home for friends and family.

The popularity of chestnuts is not limited to Kashmir, as their nutritional value, limited availability, and sweet taste have garnered attention worldwide.

Bilal Ahmad, a vendor, highlighted the warming properties of chestnuts, which make them particularly desirable during the winter months.

“There are two varieties of chestnuts, one that grows under the floating leaves and the other on trees. The second one is quite famous among the locals and the tourists. It is a delicious and sweet fruit,” he said.

Despite their relatively high cost, chestnuts are selling well. Sellers report a surge in demand, and people are willing to pay for the warmth and taste they provide.

Mushtaq Ahmad, a chestnut seller, shared that he earns over Rs. 4000 daily by selling chestnuts, with unshelled chestnuts priced at Rs. 800 to Rs. 1100 per kilogram and shelled nuts at Rs 450 to 600. “Chestnuts are more profitable and costlier than water chestnuts,” he said.

For the people of Kashmir, the arrival of chestnuts in the market is a signal that winter has arrived. Furthermore, chestnut production plays a vital role in providing employment opportunities for thousands of people in the region.

Dealers explained the complex process of bringing chestnuts to the market, involving multiple stages from tree acquisition to sale to vendors.

 “Chestnuts are picked after a month of sprouting and must be stored for more than two months to ensure a sufficient supply during the winter season,” said Mohammad Rafiq, a farmer from Pulwama.

Chestnuts are not only appreciated for their taste but also recommended by doctors for their nutritional value and potential benefits for back pain, he added.

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