Kashmir’s cherry harvest: A blossoming mid-year economic relief

Srinagar, May 29: As the lush green landscapes of Kashmir Valley awaken from their winter slumber, a vibrant spectacle unfolds with the commencement of the cherry harvesting season. Known for its mesmerizing beauty and heavenly climate, this picturesque region has emerged as a haven for cherry cultivation, providing a vital lifeline to orchardists and laborers in the mid-year when most other fruits remain dormant.

Speaking about the significance of cherries in the valley, a Horticulture Development official emphasized, “Cherry holds a crucial position in Kashmir’s horticulture sector, especially after the strawberry harvest. Cultivated across 333 hectares of land in Srinagar district alone, we witness an impressive yield of approximately 3,000 metric tons of cherries.”

Traditionally, cherry cultivation has found its stronghold in Harwan, Shalimar zones of Kashmir. However, with advancing techniques and the introduction of new varieties, cherry orchards have expanded across the valley, promising enhanced production and economic opportunities.

Highlighting the positive trend, a local farmer revealed, “In earlier times, we had a limited range of cherry varieties such as Avval, Italy, Mishry, Makhmaly, Double, and Hybrid. However, our horticulturists have recently introduced new varieties, which not only require less effort to grow but also deliver superior results. These advancements have significantly boosted our production capacity.”

The prosperity brought by the cherry harvest is not limited to the valley’s orchardists alone. It extends to the laborers, who eagerly migrate from districts like Rajouri and others to partake in the bustling cherry season, finding a source of livelihood amidst the abundance. This influx of labor creates a ripple effect, invigorating local economies and fostering a sense of unity as individuals from various regions come together in pursuit of a bountiful harvest.

The economic relief brought by cherries is timely, as it fills the gap left by the autumn harvest season when other fruits dominate the market. The mid-year income generated through cherry cultivation uplifts the spirits of both orchardists and laborers, ensuring financial stability and sustenance during what would otherwise be a lean period.

Cherry harvest in Kashmir Valley has blossomed into a pivotal fruit crop, enriching the lives of the local community. With the introduction of new varieties and improved cultivation techniques, the region is witnessing a surge in production, providing a much-needed boost to the horticulture sector. As the cherries are plucked from their branches and fill the baskets of laborers, the sweet taste of prosperity lingers in the air, reaffirming the indomitable spirit and resilience of Kashmir’s agricultural landscape.

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