he Manigam village in Anantnag district is coming up as an old belt for superior quality of walnuts besides the Kashmir region, known for walnut village in Anantnag District.
The village is about 20 kms from main town Anantnag and almost all the households in the village are dealing with the walnuts and nowadays are engaged with harvesting and peeling freshly picked walnuts.
Nestled in the down mountains, Manigam village is always occupied with the hustle-bustle of the locals dealing with walnuts, despite the copious beauty all around the area of Manigam sallar, the dull faces of the walnut businessmen speak a different tale.
Talking to GMK a local resident Abdul Rasheed who deals with walnut business in the village said that it is hard to sustain as the prices of walnuts have abruptly fallen down while the labor cost & other expenses has increased alarmingly. “Till 2015, we used to get Rs. 1400 per kilo and now we make only Rs. 700-800 per kilo,” said Rasheed.
Added that the walnut business is inherent, as everyone in the village is engaged to the age old legacy in one way or another.
However the village witnessed about 80 percent people who were involved in the business of walnuts.
Another local resident while talking to the INS said that From collecting to processing and packaging, every activity is hand-based. The workers also brave the consequences and gather walnuts from the trees that are atop the dangerously uneven hills.
Meanwhile According to media reports, at least 5 casualties have been reported from the last two weeks in Anantnag district. This happens while climbing the trees to pluck walnuts. “A 26-year-old worker died last week from falling off the tree while plucking the walnuts.
Ishrat Gulzar, a businessman dealing with walnuts in the village said that once this business was a backbone of Kashmiris, unfortunately nowadays we are seeing some people chopping the trees of walnuts which impacts hundreds of people of their livelihood.
He said that the administration is also in deep slumber and didn’t take this business as hundreds of people who are engaged in this profession suffer. He said.
The local businessmen urged the Lt Guv to look into the matter and find out some schemes like the other departments so that the people who are engaged in this profession will take benefits.