Mubashir Aalam Wani
Srinagar, Oct 30: After many years, Kashmir’s apple is witnessing a huge demand with rates going up by 50 percent compared to last year.
However, growers claimed that the production this year has reduced by 40 percent due to the weather vagaries.
In all the fruit markets of the valley and the rest of India, the Kashmir apple is currently ruling the roost.
Compared to the previous year the rates of apples this season have gone up by 50 per cent.
President Parimpora Fruit Mandi, Bashir Ahmad Bashir said that the Grade A apple was sold between Rs 1000- 1300 per box.
Last year, he said the same quality of apple would fetch them Rs 600 per box.
“If we talk about Shopian Garde A apple, its cost ranges from Rs 1200-1300 per box. Similarly, apples coming from north Kashmir are being sold at Rs 800-1000 per box,” he said.
Bashir said the main reason behind the growing demand for Kashmiri apples was the low production reported by the growers this year.
From Sopore fruit mandi, where 300 trucks loaded with apples would normally leave for various mandis of India during the season, sends just 150 trucks a day.
“Similarly, every day, dealers from Parimpora mandi ship apples in 80 trucks to various fruit markets of India. Last year at least 150 trucks loaded with apples would leave from Parimpora fruit mandi each day,” he said.
As per the growers Garde C constituted a maximum proportion of apple produce this year in Kashmir.
“While rates for Grade A apples are very good, Grade C apples sell at very low rates. This year we witnessed prolonged dry weather and hail storms which destroyed crops in various districts. Though we appealed to the government to buy our Grade C apple under Market Intervention Scheme, nothing has been done to save our losses,” said Abdul Majeed, an apple dealer.
The dealers said this year the exports from other countries including Iranian and Turkish apples have reduced, which revived the rates for Kashmiri apples in Indian markets.