Walnut (Juglans regia), belonging to family Juglandaceae, is one of the important temperate nut fruits of India. Two most common walnut species cultivated are the Persian or English walnut (Juglans regia) and the black walnut (Juglans nigra) of north America origin. The black walnut is of high flavour but due to its hard shell and poor hulling characteristics, it is not grown commercially. Almost all commercially produced walnut varieties are hybrids of the English walnut.
Walnut production in Uttarakhand
Climatic conditions and topography in Uttarakhand is fairly well suited for the cultivation of various temperate and subtropical fruits. At present more than 17000 ha area is utilized in the cultivation of walnut in the region. In the present scenario as temperature is rising due to global warming the apple cultivation is also shifting to more higher altitude for chilling requirement and the area from where apple is shifting should be replaced by walnut primarily and other nuts.
Uttarakhand is next to Jammu and Kashmir in terms of area and production but contributes only about 8.47 % of total production in India. National Horticulture Board has estimated as 17260 ha under walnut cultivation and 19340 mt production in Uttarakhand in 2016-17. Major walnuts producing districts of state are Almora, Dehradun (temperate areas) and Pauri Garhwal.
Activities under UFRMP-JICA
To promote walnut cultivation in the state, Uttarakhand Forest Resource Management Project (UFRMP)-JICA has signed an MoU with Central Institute of Temperate Horticulture (CITH), Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir. Under this MoU, CITH will provide grafted walnut plants (85000 to 100000) to establish mother orchards of walnut & cultivation on farmers land. The CITH will also provide training & technological know-how. CITH regional station at Mukteshwar will be strengthened through establishment of a Model Nursery which will provide grafted plants to farmers in Uttarakhand.
The MoU was signed on 12th September, 2017 and the scope of cooperation is as under:
Scope of cooperation
• Both parties shall work collectively for the development of Walnut in the State of Uttarakhand.
- ICAR-CITH will
a) Provide 1000-1500 grafted plants of walnut for mother block in (2017-18).
b) Supply about 10000-12000 in 2018-19, 12000-15000 in 2019-20; 15000-18000 from 2020-21 to 2023-24 every year of improved grafted walnut varieties, developed by CITH. But against these agreed numbers the actual supply was 4,939 in 2018-2019, 10,836 in 2019-2020, 10,746 in 2020-2021, 4,812 in 2021-2022, 4,140 in 2022-2023
c) Ensure transfer of technology to Uttarakhand State for raising the planting stock of walnut in Uttarakhand, through vegetative propagation (graft method), which, inter alia, would include the following techniques:
- Preparation of Root Stock.
- Development of suitable polyhouses.
- Development of Mother Blocks.
- Selection and preparation of Scion Wood.
- Grafting of Scion Wood on the prepared rootstock.
- Planting techniques including irrigation and manuring.
- Training and Pruning of Planted material.
- Plant Protection methods.
- Giving other regular technological inputs based on R&D, taken up by CITH from time to time.
- Preparation of technical manuals, catering to the requirements of the community.
- ICAR-CITH to accomplish the above, shall submit a self-contained project to PMU, UFRMP, for approval by Uttarakhand Forest Resource Management Society. The cost of the project would be approximately about Rs 303 Lakh.
- The cost of the project, for creation of infrastructure to ensure a constant supply of 25000 plants of Walnut (grafter variety) and capacity building of the State, will be borne by the Project.
- The Parties agreed to evolve such measures, as to facilitate achieving common objectives of the Parties in a meaningful and productive cooperation in mutually beneficial areas/ways as identified above.
Establishment of walnut mother blocks
The mother blocks of walnut have been established of the CITH varieties in five divisions at nine places. The CITH varieties are planted in different locations, which also are useful in comparing performance at different locations in terms of agronomic evaluation, adaptability, disease and insect pest infestation, vigor and fruiting etc.
ESTABLISHMENT OF WALNUT MOTHER ORCHARDS:-
|Name of Forest Division||Name of Mother Area||Area (ha)||No. of Plants in 2015-16||No. of Plants in 2016-17||No. of Plants in 2017-18||No. of Plants in 2018-19||No. of Plants in 2019-20||No. of Plants in 2020-21||Total Plants Planted|
|Ranikhet Soil Conservation Forest Division||Soni||3.00||750||0||289(Beating up)||0||0||0||750|
Nainital Soil Conservation Forest Division
|Mussoorie Forest Division||Moriana||3.00||0||300||200 (Beating Up)||0||0||0||300|
|Pauri Civil and Soyam Forest Division||Thalisain||1.50||0||0||125||0||0||0||125|
|Pithoragarh Forest Division||Berinag||1.50||0||0||120||0||0||0||125|
|Champawat Forest Division||Banilekh||0.50||0||0||0||50||0||0||50|
|Bageshawar Forest Division||Kausani||1.50||0||0||0||90||0||0||90|
|Lok Chetna Manch||Soni||0.50||0||0||0||50||0||0||50|
|Alaknanda Soil Conservation Forest Division||Suyalkot||1.00||0||0||0||0||70||0||70|
|Chakrata Forest Division||Chakrata||0.25||0||0||0||0||50||0||50|
|Ranikhet Soil Conservation Forest Division||Gairsain||0.75||0||0||0||0||50||0||50|
|Ranikhet Soil Conservation Forest Division||Gairsain||1.25||0||0||0||0||0||100||100|
PLANTING IN FARMERS’ FIELD
A total of 36965 grafted plants have been received so far from CITH. These plants have been distributed to 8292 farmers. The year wise distribution details is as follows:
|Walnut Programme till 2022-23|
|Year||Target||Achivement||Total||No. of farmers||Remaks|
|(As per documentation report)||(Walnut mother blocks)||Damaged Plants|
|2021-2022||4900||4802||10||88||4812||1165||CITH (3000), Mukteswar (900), Magra and Soni (1000)|
|2022-2023||4214||4140||–||74||4140||852||CITH (3000), Soni (339), Magra and Maldevta (350), Pahadpani and Ladiakanta (150)|
|* Year 2020-21, 200 Plants in mother orchards (Alaknanda FD and Uttarkashi FD) documentation report is not received|
TRAINING ON WALNUT GRAFTING
Field- level forest staff are being trained at CITH- Mukteshwar (Nainital) as well as at CITH- Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir on walnut grafting so as to develop their skill and acquire first-hand practice for future.