The cherry harvesting in south Kashmir's Shopian district began on May 28 and will continue up to July end. The growers are largely picking Italy, Makhmali and Double verities of the fruit while Mishri, one of the most sought after varieties, will be ready for harvesting a few days later. More than a dozen villages including Nadigam, Losedanew, Nagisharan, Handew, Imamsahab, Arshipora and Shaltoo are producers of the cherry fruit in the area.
"These villages account for 70 to 80 percent of the total cherry yield in the district," said a cherry trader. According to a horticulture official, around 4,700 hectares of land are under cherry cultivation in Jammu and Kashmir.
Mohamamd Ashraf, president Fruit Mandi Shopian told greaterkashmir.com that with the onset of cherry harvesting season, the facility resumed its work at least after four-month long break: "Around forty thousand cherry boxes are being ferried to the Mandi daily and the fruit is also sent to other Mandis outside the Valley via air cargo.” He said that despite rains and hailstorm, the cherry production is good this year.