While the apple harvest season is at its peak in Kashmir, growers and traders are suffering huge losses due to the hurdles faced by fruit-laden vehicles on the arterial Srinagar-Jammu highway. Thousands of trucks transporting apples had been stranded for days together on an approximately 300-km-long highway. On Wednesday, after two days of protests and strikes by fruit growers and traders associations, the trucks were allowed to move again.
The growers fear that more delays in the timely transportation of apples and other cash crops will lead to a big loss for Jammu and Kashmir economy. Every day, hundreds of vehicles leave with thousands of apple boxes from various fruit markets across Kashmir. These apples are even exported to Bangladesh and Nepal.
Currently, on average, as many as 1,500 trucks leave from Kashmir, but the traders expect a rise in the coming days since harvest season has started in the region. The traders alleged that the apple industry is suffering due to roadblocks on the highway. Consequently, they say, the trucks do not reach the markets on time, leading to the deterioration of the high-quality apples.