Srinagar, Jun 29: Despite bumper cherry, plum and apricot this year, low rates are worrying growers in Kashmir.
They said that the harvesting of the cherry in Kashmir is now at its end stage but the season of plum and Apricot is at peak and growers are happy with the bumper crop this year. But the prevalent low prices have become a cause of concern for farmers across Kashmir.
Fayaz Ahmad, a grower from Shopian said that this year cherry crop has been sold at an all time low and farmers could not earn the amount they spent on spraying and fertilizers.
“Despite Covid-19 last year, we sold a cherry box containing 2 kg cherry for Rs 300 but this year the same box with better quality cherry fetched just 90 to 100 rupees and currently it is fetching just Rs 50 to 60,” he said.
He said that the same thing is happening with plum and apricot and due to rains, large quantities of plum and apricot got damaged.
Bashir Ahmad Basheer, chairman Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers and Dealers Union KNO said that this year due to hot weather in spring, cherry ripened a month before and the crop was ready when there was bulk produce of cherry in Himachal Pradesh.
“Everything depends on supply and demand but cherry from both Himachal and Kashmir reached the market at the same time, so there was very less demand and rates are around 60 to 70 percent lower than last year,” he said.
He said cherry is at the end stage and at last farmers suffered more losses due to rains and highway closure besides that due to rains all pulm produce got ready at a time and due to highway closure for 4-5 days recently, damaged produce reached to market.
Apricots and peach got damaged due to heavy rains besides low demand in marketing is also marring growers across Kashmir, he said.