Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers cum Dealers Union, which is an apex body of All Fruit Growers and Dealers Associations, has sought government intervention to save cherry crop.
In a statement, the growers said in 2019 the Valley-based fruit Growers and dealers suffered massive losses due to the lockdown and untimely heavy snowfall followed by continued closure of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and also in 2020 they are suffering due COVID19 closure.
“Cherry season is to commence from first week of next month (i.e. May 2020) and 12000-13000 metric tons of cherry is yearly produced. Since the cherry crop is extremely perishable item, the same needs to be transported to its destinations particularly to Mumbai and Delhi on war footing basis where complete restrictions are imposed,” said the statement.
“One variety of Cherry Crop is known as Double Cherry and this entire variety is lifted by factory owners for canning, on the other hand all these factory owners are restricted leaving no hope for poor cherry Growers to sell out there double cherry to factory owners. Similarly, Tin Manufacturing industries are also closed in view of restrictions as the tins are essentially required for canning of double cherry. Packing material (Bardhana) is also not available in and outside J&K in view of complete restrictions similarly pesticides, fungicides, fertilize outlets are also open only for an hour due to lockdown.”
The statement said that Cherry Growers are extremely worried in view of fast approaching time of harvesting of the crop and urge government to intervene immediately.