Farmer Producer Organization takes Kashmiri delicacy Nadru to global market, aims to Boost Income and Market Linkages for Farmers in Kashmir
By Ajaz Rashid
The Kashmiri delicacy, Nadru (Lotus Stem), has gained a new lease of life as the Jammu Kashmir government extends a helping hand to the cultivators. By providing value addition and handholding services to sell their produce in the international market, the government aims to empower farmers to promote their produce. The newly formed Farmer Producer Organization (FPO) comprising 250 farmers from Dal interiors has recently exported two consignments to UAE, making their presence felt in the international market. Kashmir’s Famous Nadru Receives Boost
This significant program of the J&K government has been mentioned in the Prime Minister’s monthly radio address to the nation ‘Mann Ki Baat,’ indicating the importance of this initiative. The FPO is expected to provide better backward and forward integration in the marketing of agriculture and horticulture produce, increasing the income of farmers in the area.
The highly acclaimed Nadru, or Lotus Stem, harvested from the waters of Dal Lake in Kashmir, has received a significant boost thanks to the Jammu Kashmir government. The government has taken a proactive role in empowering Nadru cultivators by providing them with valuable resources, such as value addition and handholding services, to facilitate the sale of their produce in the global market.
This positive development has been facilitated by the recent formation and promotion of the Farmer Producer Organization (FPO). Comprised of 250 farmers from the interior regions of Dal, the FPO has already made its mark on the international market by successfully exporting two consignments to the United Arab Emirates. The FPO has thus provided a significant avenue for these farmers to promote their produce and expand their reach.
The Jammu Kashmir government‘s move to extend value addition and handholding services to the cultivators of the world-renowned Nadru (Lotus Stem) of Dal Lake in Kashmir is in sync with its commitment to empower the farmers to sell and promote their produce in potential national and international markets. This noteworthy program has garnered the attention of the Prime Minister who spoke about it during his monthly radio address to the nation, ‘Mann Ki Baat’. In the 99th episode of his programme, the Prime Minister highlighted the increasing demand for Nadru and applauded the farmers of Dal Lake for forming an FPO with the support of Srinagar district administration.
The government has taken a proactive role in empowering Nadru cultivators by providing them with valuable resources, such as value addition and handholding services, to facilitate the sale of their produce in the global market.
The Prime Minister expressed his immense pride in the remarkable achievement of the farmers, who have recently exported two consignments of the famous Nadru to the UAE, which has not only put them on the global map but has also resulted in a significant increase in the income of hundreds of farmers who are involved in its cultivation.
The Kashmiri Lotus stem, popularly known as Nadru, is a gastronomic delight that finds its way to the table of every Kashmiri household. The Nadru is obtained from the roots of the lotus flower and is cultivated in several lakes across the Kashmir valley, with the Dal Lake of Srinagar being the primary one.
According to the farmers in the vicinity of Dal Lake, they often faced the predicament of receiving inadequate compensation for their hard work as a result of the absence of market linkages for their produce and the meager individual yield of the farmers.
Acknowledging the exceptional qualities of Nadroo (Lotus Stem) as a culinary delicacy, the Srinagar district administration collaborated with the enterprising farmers and formulated a comprehensive plan, ultimately granting approval for the formation of the Farmer Producer Organization (FPO) in December 2022. This FPO has been further bolstered by the support of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) under the ‘Central Sector Scheme of formation of FPOs’, lending credence to the tremendous potential of the project.
The recently formed Farmer Producer Organization (FPO), ‘Dal Lake Lotus Stem Farmers Producer Company Ltd’, has successfully registered under the Companies Act. The FPO, which operates in the Hazratbal area of Srinagar district, has achieved the remarkable feat of mobilizing a whopping 250 shareholders within a short span of time, thereby making great strides in empowering the local farming community.
The FPO’s accomplishments do not stop there – it has also taken a bold step towards brand-building and marketing, by registering a company-owned brand of Nadru (Lotus stem). This brand promises to offer customers top-graded and hygienically procured Nadru, elevating the status of this local delicacy to international levels.
The FPO’s ambitions extend beyond just marketing – it is also looking to establish value addition units for Nadru in the area, thereby creating additional opportunities for local farmers to process their produce and generate greater income. With its headquarters located in the Hazratbal area of Srinagar, the FPO is well on its way to becoming a shining example of successful entrepreneurship and community empowerment.
According to an official, the Farmer Producer Organization (FPO) of ‘Dal Lake Lotus Stem Farmers Producer Company Ltd’ has received support from the Department of Agriculture Kashmir in exporting two consignments of the highly sought-after Nadru to the UAE, resulting in substantial profits for the cultivators.
The official emphasized that the FPO scheme aims to create an institutional mechanism to reduce the cost of production, boost per unit production, and establish better market linkages, resulting in increased income for farmers.
He went on to say that FPOs like the ‘Dal Lake Lotus Stem Farmers Producer Company Ltd’ will be promoted in the district, providing better backward and forward integration in the marketing of agriculture and horticulture produce, thus opening up new opportunities for farmers in the region.