This year, the J&K government has made special arrangements for transport subsidies to ship Kashmiri cherries to different parts of India. The arrangements include a 25 percent subsidy to farmers who opt for air traffic and refrigerator trucks to send their cherries to other parts of India.
Director Horticulture, Kashmir, Ajaz Ahmad Bhat explained how refrigerator vehicles which transport short-shelf life items will be taking cherries from the Kashmir Valley on the return trip.
“This two-way income to the trucks will create an environment where they will be available every time for ferrying Kashmir fruit, that too on farmer-friendly transportation charges,” he said. Bhat said that the government is providing 25 percent subsidy on transportation charges to farmers who will send the produce through air traffic and refrigerator trucks.
“Using air traffic and refrigerator vehicles will help us get our produce to those stations where it was not reaching earlier. It will automatically lift the rates of cherry and it will also reach places where people do not know about cherry,” he told kashmirreader.com.
Kashmir on average produces 15,000 tons of cherries every year. Shopian in south Kashmir and Ganderbal and Srinagar in central Kashmir are the biggest cherry producer districts of Kashmir. According to officials of horticulture department, there is no precise estimate of cherry production, but it is approximately 12,000 tons.
In the last five to eight years, Kashmir has been growing over a dozen cherry brands which include more than five Italian varieties, an American variety, the traditional Mishri, Dabal, Siya, and some other imported varieties.