Apple Farmers of Kashmir are very worried these days. Because crores of boxes of apples grown by them are still kept in cold stores. Because the apples of Iran are coming into the market here at a low price, the demand for the apples of Kashmir is decreasing. Significantly, apple farming is said to be the backbone of the economy of Kashmir.
Thousands of people of Kashmir get direct or indirect employment through apple cultivation. However, apples came from Iran and other countries last year as well. At that time, apple production was affected due to bad weather. Due to this, the farmers of Kashmir did not make much difference. But this time, there was a better yield than last time. Due to this, the farmers here are troubled this time.
The apple farmers of Kashmir say that the cost of cultivating apples is increasing every year. The labourers working in apple orchards take 10 to 15 thousand rupees per month. This crop happens once a year, so farmers have a lot of hope for it.
But this time, due to less demand for apples, farmers are also facing problems in giving money to labourers; apart from this, many farmers want to buy pesticides and medicines on credit, but there is a delay in selling apples. Because of this, they are also facing problems.
Apple reaches Mumbai by sea.
Bashir Ahmed Bashir, chairman of Kashmir Valley Fruits cum Dealers Union and president of New Kashmir Fruit Association, said that apples from Iran are coming here. Apples from Afghanistan and Iraq are also reaching Mumbai via Dubai. The warehouses there are full of apples there.
Behind the reason for ordering apples from there, he said that apples are low. Apples are being found here in Indian currency at 15 rupees per kg. Due to this, the prices of apples have come down, and the demand for Kashmiri apples has decreased in the market.
2.5 to 3 crore boxes are kept in godowns
Bashir Ahmed Bashir said that 2.5 to 30 million boxes are still kept in CA stores due to low demand for Kashmiri apples. Apart from 50-60 CA stores in Kashmir, apples are also kept in godowns outside the state. He said that he does not oppose imports from other countries, but when a sufficient quantity is being produced in our country, why are apples being imported from other countries.
Apart from Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh farmers also suffer from this. At the same time, the farmers cultivating apples are getting discouraged. Also said that when our Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks about Make in India, the interests of the country’s farmers should also be taken care of.