HomeAgricultureWalnut Farming in India – Growing Tips & Popular Varieties

Walnut Farming in India – Growing Tips & Popular Varieties

Walnut Farming in India - Growing Tips & Popular Varieties

Walnuts or “akhrot” in India are popularly grown in the northwest Himalayan belt, including Darjeeling and Sikkim

However, commercial farming of walnut in India is limited but very profitable. Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Arunachal Pradesh are India’s biggest contributors to walnut cultivation.

In India, the Persian nut is the most important temperate cash crop that’s produced majorly in India. India has walnuts categorised into the following 4 kinds:

  • Hard-shelled
  • Medium-shelled
  • Thin-shelled
  • Paper-shelled

In India, Jammu and Kashmir is the biggest producer, accounting for more than 98% of total walnut farming across 89,000 hectares of crop area.

Let’s explore some benefits of pursuing starting Walnut farming in India. And afterwards, let’s look into technical factors or farming techniques required to grow this healthy and nutritious fruit.

Nutritional value of Walnuts (30g serving (about 14 halves)

Benefits of Walnut Cultivation in India

1. Can be transported to great distances 

By reducing the moisture level of these nuts by 60%, farmers can easily transport these fruits up to a longer route.

2. Easy to store 

Walnut storage in its original form is easy to store for up to 18-20 months and requires less investment than other nuts or fruits. This allows the retailers to hold the product up for a longer tenure without worrying about rotting.

3. Recyclable nut shells 

Walnut tree shells and nuts are recyclable as they have wide applications in different industries.

Moreover, Walnut shells are suitable for:

  • Tumbling
  • Blasting
  • Cleaning, polishing, filtration
  • Manufacturing cosmetics & medicines.
  • Used for non-skid applications and filler applications

4. Increasing yield 

These trees, when grown sustainably, can provide a growing yield every year.

5. Safe from diseases 

These fruits are more tolerant to plant diseases than other fruit species.

Walnut Cultivation - Technical Factors & Conditions

How to Sow, Grow & Harvest Quality Walnuts in India?

1. Soil Requirements

Walnuts require well-drained deep silt loam soils with a ph ranging between 6.0 to 7.5. Moreover, the rich should be rich in humus and must be supplanted with enough lime. In addition, adding a good amount of zinc and boron in the soil can help increase metabolic reactions in all crops. 

2. Climatic conditions

Walnut crops are not at all made for hot climatic conditions. These cash crops require cool climatic conditions. These crops, however, cannot stand frost conditions during the spring season. 

Additionally, they require an annual rainfall of 800 mm, divided uniformly throughout the year. It’s better to avoid cultivation when the temperature exceeds 38 °C as it will lead to burn hulls and will shrink the kernels, negatively impacting the overall yield.

Walnut trees require a long season for proper fruit formation. These fruits are best when planted in areas with long and dry summers. So, low summer temperatures with a chilly mountain climate could cause a decline in inner yield.

3. Land Preparation

Before sowing the seeds, removing all the weeds from the field is important. Also, it’s important to cut out any old roots. Following this, plough the land 3-4 times until the soil reaches the tilth stage.

You must use high-quality implements like — cultivatorplough, and harrow to prepare the field.

4. Propagation Techniques

For growing Walnut trees, you can propagate them through either:

  • Seeds
  • Grafting 
  • Budding methods

But experts say that propagation through seeds is the best move to achieve good growth. Also, make sure to use local walnut seedlings as rootstocks.

5. Planting & Spacing in Walnut Cultivation

Walnut farming is highly preferred on square patterns on flat land or contour planting across hills with steep slopes. Seedling trees should maintain a distance of 12×12 m for better growth and harvest.

Top Walnut Varieties in IndiaTop Walnut Varieties in India

6. Irrigation & Watering

If you are growing walnuts commercially, you can water them either through:

  • Flood, furrow
  • Border strip
  • Sprinkler or drip systems

Most growers prefer to use the fertigation process. In this process, a combination of fertiliser and irrigation is combined. Basically, water-soluble fertiliser is injected into the irrigation system.

7. Fertilizer Schedule 

Adding well-rotted farmyard manure during ploughing will help in fertilising the soil. Moreover, add NPK in the following quantities to the soil:

  • Supply P & K about 100 grammes per plant in the initial 5 years.
  • Later add P @ 45-80 kg/ha.
  • Add K @ 65-100 kg/ha.

Note: For Nitrogen, add 100 gm per tree in the first year. Later, add 100 gm more every year for better plant and leave growth.

8. Harvesting & Yield

Walnuts are ready to harvest within 10 to 12 years of planting the seedlings. In the case of grafting plants, the fruit production of fruit production within 4-5 years of planting. However, the grafted plants sowed for commercial purposes start developing within 8-10 years of planting.

Average Yield of Walnut

A fully developed walnut can deliver an average yield of 150 kg of nuts. However, on average, a single tree can produce 40 to 50 kilograms of nuts annually. Experts say the yield can vary from tree to tree, cultivar type, and types of farming techniques utilised.

Top Walnut Producing States in India

Top Walnut Producing States in India

Walnuts are properly grown in:

  • Jammu and Kashmir
  • Uttarakhand
  • Himachal Pradesh
  • Arunachal Pradesh
  • Jammu & Kashmir 

Walnuts are exported to mainly:

  • United Arab EMTs
  • France
  • U.K.
  • Djibouti
  • Germany 
  • New Zealand

Final Thoughts on Walnut Cultivation!

These technical factors directly answer the most commonly asked question of “how to cultivate walnuts in India?”. This temperate fruit is easy to grow and sustain in well-drained deep silt loam soils and temperatures exceeding 38 degrees Celsius. Besides, you must maintain proper irrigation, planting and fertiliser schedules to develop quality fruit.

Moreover, techniques alone won’t help; you would require optimum quality new tractors, and versatile farming implements to help prepare the field. 

Walnut Farming Profit & Scope – Experience from Farmers

Farmers hailing from Panchari village of Jammu & Kashmir earn substantial profits after shifting to walnut farming from traditional farming. The union territory’s horticulture department is aiding the farmers in understanding the potential of cultivating this cash crop.

With the support of this department, many farmers realise the potential of investing in this farming type. The said dept. is working on raising awareness and helping growers access hybrid seeds yielding better growth.

This department aligns with PM Modi’s scheme of doubling farmers’ income by 2022. This diversification in farming types will help farmers decrease their production & input costs.

Panchari farmers say they rely solely on walnut production and are seeing a huge rise in their walnut farming profits. Furthermore, on the demand of farmers, the department, alongside the government, is working towards sourcing markets where farmers can sell their produce. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Que. What is the ideal climate for walnut production?

Ans. Walnut can suitably grow in areas with cooler climates and well-distributed annual rainfall up to 800 mm

Que. Who is the biggest producer of walnuts in the world?

Ans. Owing to the walnut seeds benefits, China is the biggest producer of walnuts in the world. 

Que. Which state is the biggest contributor to walnut production in India?

Ans. Jammu & Kashmir has the largest field area, contributing over 98% of total production across India.

Que. Is walnut a cash crop?

Ans. Yes, walnut is a cash crop that attracts foreign earnings of more than 200 crores annually.

Que. Which soil type is required for Walnut cultivation?

Ans. Walnut can sustain well-drained, deep, sandy loam that’s rich in organic matter soil.

Que. What are the benefits of walnut farming in India?

Ans. Walnut farming is highly profitable, requires less maintenance and provides a sustainable lifestyle to farming families.

Que. What is walnut cultivation?

Ans. Walnut cultivation is the sowing, growing & harvesting of top-quality walnut fruits.

Related Post
Almond Farming in India
Top Mushroom Producing States in India
Hop Shoots Farming in India

scroll to top