Sopore: Bangladesh fruit traders have stated that they will soon cease operations in Kashmir due to the unnecessary halting of fruit-laden vehicles on the Srinagar-Jammu highway.
While speaking to the media, Bangladesh fruit purchasers expressed regret that for the past 15 days, they have suffered significant losses due to the unnecessary halt of fruit-laden trucks and that the government has done nothing to address their concerns.
They claim that before, fruit-laden trucks would arrive in Bangladesh in 6-7 days, but now due to the unnecessary stoppage of fruit-laden trucks, trucks arrive in Bangladesh in 15 days.
“It not only hurts business for growers in Kashmir, but we are also incurring big losses; if the situation continues, we will quit trading here,” they stated.
Bangladesh has become one of the speciality markets for Kashmir apples throughout the years. Local traders are focusing on Bangladesh since the returns are higher.
“Bangladeshi dealers provide better prices for Kashmir apples. As soon as American and other types are harvested, they arrive in Kashmir. Hundreds of traders trade with Bangladeshis,” claimed Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat, an apple trader.
“We ship thousands of boxes of apples mostly American variety from Asia’s Fruit Mandi to Bangladesh fruit markets daily. As Kashmiri apples have no match in the world. In Bangladesh, we have a huge demand for Kashmir apples,” Rouf-ud-din one of the fruit buyers from Bangladesh said.
Mudasir Ahmad Bhat, a President of the Fruit Buyers and Forwarding Agents Association in Sopore, is highly concerned about the closure of the fruit trade in Kashmir by Bangladeshi traders. He claims that 20 per cent of the total apple crop from north Kashmir is exported to Bangladesh each year.
“While many traders remain to purchase apples, others import apples through local dealers.” Sopore Fruit Mandi, Asia’s second-largest fruit market, has evolved into a one-stop shop for Bangladeshi traders. It’s the only Fruit Mandi where you can get apples. “They have garnered a lot of respect from the locals and are quite professional in their field,” he said.
Every day, at least 30 trucks of apples depart Sopore fruit mandi for Bangladesh, according to Mudasir.
“We have repeatedly requested that the LG-led government resolve this issue once and for all so that producers and customers do not suffer more losses,” Mudasir added.