Govt wakes up to slump in cherry business

Will Procure Fruit From Today To Support Growers

MUKEET AKMALI

Srinagar, June 21: In a good initiative, the state government today announced that JK State Agro Industries Development Corporation will procure cherries from Parimpora Fruit mandi, here to provide support to the farmers who had complained about incurring losses due to fall in the demand.
Pertinently, Greater Kashmir on Friday carried a detailed story on bumper cherry crop this year and consequent drop in its demand. The report while quoting the growers had suggested that government should provide some support to them.
Taking note of the story, the government today announced that state-owned Agro Industries Development Corporation will procure the fruit from Parimpora mandi, here to provide support to the farmers.
Commissioner Secretary, Agriculture Production Department, Dr Asgar Samoon today visited the fruit complex Parimpora where he announced the decision. “The cherries will be procured from June 22,” he said.
Samoon on the occasion directed the authorities accompanying him to earmark a chunk of land (7 kanal 7 marlas) for construction of CA Cold Store so that the fruit can be preserved for long time. 
Bashir Ahmad Bashir, President New Kashmir Fruit Association, Parimpora said: “We are appreciative of the fact that Dr Asgar Samoon visited the Fruit Mandi and made on the spot announcement to procure the fruit.”
“Cherry growers are facing lot of problems due to less demand of crops in market,” he said.
According to the growers, this year though the production is very good, the demand is quite low. Rates have come down shrinking the margin for the farmers, who have worked tirelessly for cultivating and maintaining the quality of cherry. 
Pertinently, major buyers of cherries in Kashmir are Canning unit owners who procure cherry and then package it and process it for export  but according to growers this year , the unit owners were offering little rates. While the growers say that they cannot directly export the fruit, so they have no other alternative except to sell their produce to these canning unit owners.
Ironically according to them the demand in the local market is not satisfactory. Kashmir’s cherry production last year had witnessed decline in production due to hail, heavy rains and huge temperature variations in spring which had subsequently resulted in decline in production.
Resultantly, there was a widening gap between demand and supply which according to exporters resulted in higher rates of cherry. According to officials of Horticulture Department, the Kashmir Valley this year is going to record a bumper output of 11,000 metric ton cherry.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 21 Jun 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 21 Jun 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 22 Jun 2013 00:00:00 IST




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