After fetching good rates throughout the autumn, the fruit growers in Kashmir are now witnessing a down market as rates have been continuously decreasing in different Indian markets since fortnight.
Growers from different areas of Kashmir said that usually the rates of apples increase after ending November but this year the rates have started declining due to the growers whose produce is yet to reach markets are very much worried.
Abdul Rashid, a grower from Shopian said that he is yet to send his 300 apple boxes as he was waiting for rates to increase but instead of increasing, “rates are decreasing with each passing day.”
He said that rates have decreased from 200 to 300 per box in the last 15 days and the farmers whose most produce is Kashmir are very much worried.
Bashir Ahmad Basheer, chairman Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers cum Dealers Union (KVFGDU) was quoted as saying by KNO that around 35 percent of the produce is still lying in cold storage units.
He said that the main reason behind the decrease in rates of apples is financial crunch besides the threat of a third wave of Covid which could lead to lockdown.
Basheer said the other reasons for the decline in the rates include the import of the apples from Iran which are reaching Delhi on a daily basis, cold waves in northern states of India and continuous rains in different southern states.
“The rates are down by around 20 percent as compared to the rates which were in autumn,” he said