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The present study was carried out in four blocks, viz., Ganderbal, Sherpathri, Lar and Kangan of district Ganderbal of the Kashmir valley owing to the majority of wicker willow cultivators and handicraft makers in these blocks of the district. A total number of 120 respondents, i.e., wicker willow cultivators and handicraft makers were selected for the study. Data derived from the respondents were analyzed by using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Three main varieties of wicker willow species were determined in the study area, i,e., Salix triandra, Salix dickymat and Salix viminalis, with Salix triandra being the most prominent among the three as almost 53.33% of the respondents were cultivating this specie of wicker willow followed by Salix dickymat and Salix viminalis. During the cultivation of wicker willow, costs on preparation of land, planting material, fencing, FYM were applicable during the first year only, whereas, costs on fertilizer, weeding/cleaning were applicable throughout the crop life. During this study it was found that the inputs like planting material, fertilizers and weeding/cleaning had a direct impact on the total output of wicker willow. The study reveals that the average production of wicker willow was 768 kgs/kanal. The average cost of production was Rs 1170/kanal/year, whereas the average gross return stood at Rs 8256/kanal/year. The average net returns were estimated to be Rs 7086/kanal/year. Almost 44% of respondents were involved in making wicker handicrafts, which indicates that 44% of the respondents were accepting it as their main source of income. During this study, it was calculated that the payback period in case of wicker willow cultivation was 3rd year, whereas per rupee return was estimated to be Rs 3.19 and the ratio of benefit and costs was estimated to be 2.48, thereby making this practice as a profitable one when compared to other crops in the study area.
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