Fruit growers have heaved a sigh of relief as demand for Kashmir apples has shot by more than 40 percent in different markets across the country. Industry sources said the earthquake in Turkey has hit the imports from that nation, which have spurred the demand for indigenous Kashmir apples. As per the growers, the rates as well as the demand for the apple has increased considerably for the last one month.
“Usually, we ship stored apples in April and May. Currently, there is a good demand for apples and rates are comparatively better. Therefore, fruits stored in cold storages are being shipped,” said one fruit grower from Baramulla.
President Kashmir Fruit Growers and Dealers Association Bashir Ahmad Basheer stated that the rates of apples have almost doubled in the last one month: “From September to November, an apple box weighing 16 kilograms would sell at Rs 500. Right now, the rates have gone up to Rs 1200 and above for a 10-kilogram apple box.”
Bashir said the fruit stored in cold storage is being sent to New Delhi, UP, Punjab, Mumbai, and other markets. “Only five percent of the apple is stored at warehouses. The rest of the produce is stored in cold stores. For the next month, there will be a good flow of apples from Kashmir to these mandis,” he said.
As per official estimates, additional 200,000 tons of fruit were produced in Kashmir last year. Annually, 2.0 to 2.1 mln tons of apples are produced in Kashmir.
[ Rs 100 = €1.20 ]