Due to factors like low crop yields, fungal diseases damaging the fruit and increases in the number of new units, the cold storage business in Kashmir is down by 40 percent this year. Cold storage owners say that the monthly cold storage charges have also declined by 10 rupees per box.
The low yield of apple and other fruits this year is among the reasons why less of them have been stored in the cold storages. Owners say that 40 percent of the storage space stands empty this year.
Kashmir this year produced about 1.5 mln tonnes of apples, 30 percent less than last year when Kashmir produced 2.3 mln tonnes of apples.
To run a cold storage, it costs owners around Rs 300,000 per year, which includes electricity bills, employee salaries, cost of equipment, and maintenance charges. One owner stated that the amount of fruit stored this year would not provide for the expenses they have to meet on electricity, labour, machinery and technical staff.
According to kashmirreader.com, Kashmir units have the capacity to store 200,000 tonnes of apple in about 30 cold storage units that are mostly based in districts Pulwama and Shopian.
[ Rs100 = €1.10 ]