Srinagar, August 24 (KMS): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the apple growers have been left high and dry after the prices of packing material of apples have increased abruptly in what is termed as a major setback to the Valley’s most vital horticulture industry .
Growers across Kashmir while talking to media said that the cost of packing material has increased by around 30 to 40 percent in last few days only due to which growers are fearing losses.
President of Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers and Dealers Association and New Kashmir Fruit Association, Bashir Ahmad Bashir said that price of packing material has increased sharply in Kashmir.
Fayaz Ahmad an apple grower from Shopian said that usually they were purchasing wooden apple boxes at the cost of 70 to 80 rupees but this time same boxes are being sold around 130 rupees. Similarly, he added, they were getting cardboard boxes more or less 35 rupees but same boxes are being sold by close to 50 rupees this year.
Other growers also echoed the same voice and said that cost of apple boxes, papers and other things besides labour rate has been also increased due to which growers are fearing losses this year. They said that rates have increased abruptly and it will prove disaster for the growers as growers have suffered huge losses due to lockdowns, untimely snowfall, hailstorm and other things in the last few years.
The Kashmir watchers have described the move to abruptly increase the cost of packing material as a deliberate attempt on the part of the IIOJK admin to damage the apple crop which is the mainstay of economy in the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley.