Apples from Kashmir are at last fetching market rates that are satisfactory for fruit growers and traders in south Kashmir. The demand for the apples is now also good, despite the Covid19 situation.
According to fruit growers in Shopian, the rates of Grade A apples are almost double those of last year, when a 16-kilogram box was being sold at Rs 500 in markets outside the region. They said that this year, the rates of Grade A Kulu variety apples is at Rs 1,000.
However, the gains could have been bigger, were it not that large parts of the fruit have been affected by scab. This spoiled fruit is being sold at Rs 350 to 550 per box in the market or at orchards. “We sold the traditional Delicious variety at Rs 850 a day ago, which last year was sold at Rs 600 locally,” said a Shopian grower, adding that the returns will be equivalent to last year’s as about 45 percent of apple in his orchard was affected with scab.
According to official data, Kashmir this year has produced about 1.5 mln tonnes of apples; 30 percent less compared tan last year.
One trader cum cold storage owner told kashmirreader.com that they are receiving orders in bulk for apples from outside traders, which according to him is a “positive sign.”