Luckily, the summer fruit season has coincided with the process of reducing lockdowns in Jammu and Kashmir. This raises cherry growers’ hopes for rich returns after suffering losses last year due to an extended lockdown.
Kashmir produces four highly sought-after varieties of cherry — double, makhmali, mishri and Italy — most of which are sold outside the Valley, for premium prices. With the harvest underway, cherry growers are trying to send the fruit to other states at the earliest. Some are availing flights to ensure that no time is lost in selling the highly perishable fruit.
Horticulture director Ajaz Ahmad Bhat told hindustantimes.com that the production of the crops, whether strawberry or cherry, was not bad. “The government has made arrangements so that the growers do not face any trouble exporting the fruit outside Kashmir amid the pandemic. Now, the harvest of apricot and other stone fruits will follow. The government has already announced subsidies on air freight for cherry.