Srinagar, Jul 5: The changes brought in the cherry industry in Jammu and Kashmir with the import of different varieties has finally started to pay off as despite having little less produce this year, growers are fetching good rates in the market.
Growers from different areas of Kashmir said that around one dozen cherry varieties were imported to Kashmir in the past one decade and the varieties have brought a revolution in the sector.
Growers said new varieties brought mainly from Italy have given relief to the growers as these varieties unlike the traditional ones are less vulnerable to rain and have given them good returns.
They said though the traditional varieties like Mishri are known for its color, crunch, and nutritional value, the problem with the local varieties is they couldn’t stand rainfall.
“However, new varieties are resistant to the moderate rains and only heavy rains can cause damage to them,” they said.
They further said that traditional varieties used to ripe in a the shortest span of time thus bringing the market down because of their little life shelf, however, imported varieties ripe at different times thus maintaining the demand and giving handsome returns to the growers.
Asif Ahmad, a grower from South Kashmir, said that this year our produce was normal, however, demand in the market is too good due to which growers are very happy.
President Fruit Growers Association Shopian Mohammed Ashraf told KNO that despite a little less productive this year, the produce was free from scab and other things and are fetching good rates in the market.
Officials said that the different varieties of the cherry grown in Kashmir include Makhmali, Mishri, Haddi, Italy Dabal, Vishkan, Siya and Stela.
They said that some more projects with an aim to introduce different varieties of cherry are also coming up in the valley so that more cherry trees are grown as it needs very little expenses with almost no spray.
On average, about 15,000 metric tonnes of cherry are produced every year in Kashmir.