Fruit culture is an important industry in the economy of Jammu and Kashmir. The total production of apples in Jammu and Kashmir is approximately 1.9 mln tons an area of 133,000 hectares. Unfortunately, the post-harvest aspect is a neglected element in the region’s fruit culture.
There is a lack of infrastructural facilities like roads, grading, packing, storage, transportation and processing facilities in Jammu and Kashmir. This leads to the perishables/horticulture produce losing their prime quality attributes even before reaching the market.
On account of lack of scientific storage facilities in the Kashmir, growers are forced to flood the fruit mandis with the produce. Apples are the predominant horticultural commodity stored under CA conditions – Controlled Atmosphere Conditions. The objective of CA storage is to lower oxygen and increase carbon dioxide concentrations to levels that will maintain fruit quality by decreasing respiratory metabolism and reducing ethylene production and action, but not to the levels that induce fermentation or other damaging events.
Out of the total produce 30-38% is retained till June to regulate the market. Even though at present Kashmir is lacking sufficient number of controlled atmosphere storage facilities, the good news is that people are investing in this field and a good number of controlled atmosphere storages are coming up in the Kashmir valley.