Agony of Kashmiri apple growers refuses to die down

Srinagar, October 04 (KMS): After infliction of heavy losses due to deliberate halting of trucks on Srinagar-Jammu highway by the Indian authorities on lame excuses , apple growers in Kashmir are now suffering because of increase in freight charges, transport shortage and low demand for the fruit, as duty-free import of Iranian apple has already hit the market.

The Kashmiri growers said that the demand for the fruit has remained low this year so far but freight has doubled and there is shortage of trucks to carry apples outside Kashmir.

Shabbir Ahmad, a grower from Shopian said that they spend their savings on orchards but the returns are not satisfactory this year. He cites increasing cost of labour, fertilizer and pesticide.

He said that growers are not able to get the amount they spend on orchards incurring them losses.

“Freight rates have doubled in the last few days and even growers who are ready to pay the amount are unable to get trucks,” he added.

President, Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers cum Dealers Union (KVFGCDU), Bashir Ahmad admitted that freight charges have been doubled in the last few days.

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