Horticulture is the backbone of Jammu and Kashmir’s economy. It contributes about 8 percent to the GDP of Jammu and Kashmir. Official figures reveal that 700,000 families are directly or indirectly involved and dependent on the horticulture industry.
For the second year in a row, Kashmir growers are staring at huge losses given the disease and drop in production due to substandard pesticides. After tourism failure, people had pinned hopes on horticulture and agriculture. However, the horticulture sector too has failed this year and with the result, the growers are on the verge of bankruptcy.
President North Kashmir Apple Growers Association, Fayaz Ahmad Malik: “Horticulture is in doldrums and growers have gone bankrupt because of last year’s lockdown. The annual production has almost halved. Of the remaining 50 percent, the `C’ grade apple is almost 30 percent.”
At Asia’s biggest Fruit Mandi in Sopore, only 200 trucks loaded with apple and pears leave for outside state markets against last year’s 300 trucks per day.