Kashmiri almonds are known for their superiority of taste and are very popular with the consumers.Its trees are the first blooming fruit trees and an enchanting sight that lends glamour to the spring in Kashmir,almond, known as the king of nuts among dry fruits, is a highly nutritious food. It is rich in almost all the elements needed by tile body. It is an effective health-building food, both for the body and mind and a valuable food remedy for several common ailments.Almond is a complete food with different types of healthy fats, minerals, vitamins, calcium, carbohydrates, proteins, fibers and other health secrets in it, which can help us fight various diseases right from the problem of memory loss to the siemens loss. Almonds help reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some chronic diseases. It also rejuvenates the skin, gives it a glow and helps us in looking younger. If almond paste is regularly applied to the skin, it helps in preventing wrinkles, pimples, black heads etc. and prevents skin from getting dry.
The almond cultivation in India is restricted to selected hilly areas of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.The J&K government has formulated almond development program for bringing additional 12000 hectares more area under its cultivation in a phased manner. Presently, an area of 18870 hectares is under almond cultivation with total production of 9672 metric tones. The experts have suggested strategies for increasing almond fruit set and artificial pollination with bouquets. The research has indicated that the bouquets increased the fruit set and the affected decreased rapidly with the distance even with a tree. The pollen germination tests revealed no differences between one day old flowers from cut or intact limbs. Then the bud pollination was found to be very effective as it would accept pollen from the same flower and would overcome self- compatibility and highest fruit set was 5.66 per cent in Jammu and Kashmir.
There are two varieties of almond, sweet almond and bitter almond. There are thin-skinned and thick-skinned among the sweet variety. The thin-skinned, known as Kagzi in vernacular, is the best for use. The bitter variety of almonds should not be used as they contain prussic acid, a deadly poison. They have, however, some commercial importance and are used for producing almond oil, perfume and cosmetics.
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