IIOJK in focus

IOJK’s apple industry in doldrums as thousands of trucks halted along highway

Srinagar, September 26 (KMS): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, apple industry is facing a major crisis these days as thousands of fruit laden trucks are halted frequently along the Srinagar-Jammu highway and most apples end up rotten.

Angry growers on Monday shut all the major wholesale fruit markets in Kashmir, including Asia’s second largest fruit mandi at Sopore, due to the halting of trucks, especially from Qazigund to Banihal. These markets would remain shut on Tuesday.

Protests also broke out in some parts of the valley where growers said that trucks were being deliberately stopped for the last many days, resulting in a considerable loss for the vendors.

“After we exhausted all the options we are left with no option but to shut mandis,” said a fruit grower at Sopore. “The apples in the halted truck have started rotting now and this is terrible on part of the government that it is not allowing smooth ride of these trucks.”

Over 1500 fruit laden trucks are dispatched daily from Kashmir and the number is going to be more in the coming days.

Horticulture is the mainstay of Kashmir’s economy with seven lakh families directly and indirectly associated with the sector. Horticulture contributes seven percent to the Gross State Domestic Product of Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir is the largest producer of apples in the country.

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