Kashmir apple growers and traders fear losses due to the weekly closure of the 270 km long Srinagar- Jammu national highway. One fruit grower said: “As the national highway is shut every Friday and first preference is given to light motor vehicles to travel on the road, the apple laden trucks remain stranded for days on the national highway. This results in apples turning bad.”
This comes at the same time that significant rises in temperatures have also become a cause of worry. Last month, India Meteorology Department (IMD) suggested that the day temperatures would rise by 1 to 1.5oCelsius above normal in large parts of north, east and central India in April and May. The temperatures, according to the department, may shoot up by half a degree in the ongoing month of March in these parts of the country.
Mohammad Ashraf Wani, president from Fruit Mandi Shopian told Greater Kashmir: “Sometimes a fruit laden lorry shows up at Azadpur Mandi after a week.” He said that by the time it reaches the mandi the fruit had already turned bad incurring heavy losses to growers. Around 60 to 70 trucks carrying apples are being dispatched to various fruit mandis outside the Valley daily.
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