As shipments from the region of Jammu and Kashmir are negligible -despite this being the harvesting season in Kashmir - apple traders in the Delhi and Jammu wholesale markets are concerned about the return of the advance payments they made to growers there.
The Indian government has asked the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed) to procure apples, in the wake of terrorists threatening growers not to sell their produce in the market. Traders, who make advance payments against the crop, fear this could affect supplies to them.
More than 350 traders from Delhi, who supply the fruit across the country, had given more than ₹12 bln (€151 mln) to apple growers in the valley, said traders. Some 125 traders in the Jammu mandi have provided another ₹2.5 bln (€31 mln).
Economictimes.indiatimes.com quoted Mehta Ram Kriplani, the president of Delhi’s Azadpur Chamber of Fruits and Vegetables Association as saying: “It’s been an old practice of traders to provide advance financial assistance to growers before the onset of the season. The money is used by growers to procure pesticide, fertilisers, packing material and hiring labour for working in the orchard.”
Terrorists targeting apple orchards
Indiatoday.in reports that terrorists have even been targeting apple orchards across villages in south Kashmir to disrupt the locals' livelihoods. On September 12, terrorists burnt a huge pile of Kashmir's famous golden apple variety in an orchard in Shopian, which has been one of the volatile areas lately.