Bandipora: PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt Ltd will purchase potato crops from Gurez to make the chips, providing a significant boost to farmers in the Gurez valley in the Bandipora district of North Kashmir.

The beautiful Gurez valley and its neighbouring Tehsil Tulail, which are located 125 kilometres from Srinagar, are known for their immense potential for producing high-quality potatoes.

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Gurez is already a prodigious producer of potatoes because of the valley’s chilly climate and nutrient-rich soil. But the valley’s particular characteristics also make it perfect for cultivating potato seeds, adding to its attraction and making it a top holiday spot for fans of the vegetable.

But, Gurez is more than just a farming community. It is a popular destination for those looking to explore the unexplored due to its beauty and stories that are rooted in history its history.

Quality potato production has been a foundation in the valley for many years. It is said that the difficult geography kept the valley mostly isolated from the outside world during the winter, making potatoes the only reliable food crop in the region.

As part of its potato research programme for the Gurez valley, the Mountain Agriculture Research & Extension Station, izmarg of SKUAST-Kashmir, investigates several high-producing potato lines. Gurez, “The Potato Basket of Kashmir” is a product of the skill and diligence of the local farmers.

After winning the best unconventional tourism destination prize in 2022, hikers flocked to the valley last year to explore its patchwork valleys beneath the region’s towering peaks.

According to a project official, Pepsico India proposed the idea of starting cooperative potato farming in the Gurez Valley to improve the farming community’s livelihoods. 

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To that end, they requested the utilisation of an experimental field at the SKUAST-Kashmir Research Station to evaluate some specific varieties suitable for making chips under the close supervision of SKUAST-KASHMIR scientists.

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