Shopian: Dip in rates of different varieties of Kashmir apple has caused distress among fruit growers who are apprehensive of incurring huge losses.
According to fruit growers, the apple prices have plummeted upto 40 percent as the fruit markets across the country are going through a rough patch amid low demand for apples outside Jammu and Kashmir.
“We are witnessing a significant dip in the prices of apples being exported to outside J&K as compared to previous years,” said Izhan Javed, a grower and spokesperson Jammu and Kashmir Fruit and Vegetables Processing and Integrated Cold Chain Association.
According to Javed, one kilogram of gala variety of apple presently is being sold at Rs 60 while it would normally be priced at Rs 100 to Rs 110 a Kg
Different varieties of high density apples like gala red, gala red, schinco red, jeromnie, red chief, red velox, red delicious and scarlet have been harvested recently and are available in the markets in and outside the Kashmir region.
“The prices have fallen not only for the high density varieties but for the conventional varieties as well, causing distress among the farmers,” said Javed, adding that the fruit coming to mandis from Himachal is also sold for cheap prices.
Ashiq Hussain, another grower from Shopian said that last year he sold one Kg of schinco variety for Rs 150 to Rs 170, but this year the prices were quite low.
He sees long-drawn-out Covid induced lockdowns as the key reason for low market prices.
“We hope the market improves soon else it will affect the overall produce this year,” he said.