Apples and Apple

Let us learn from that Apple
Kashmir is famous for its beauty and its ‘apples’. Apple is a major horticulture produce that has been the backbone of economic stability of Kashmiris.
Kashmir is famous for its beauty and its ‘apples’. Apple is a major horticulture produce that has been the backbone of economic stability of Kashmiris. File/GK

According to some religious scriptures the very existence of the human civilization on this planet is on the basis of a ‘forbidden fruit’ from the tree of knowledge that was taken by Adam while in the paradise. Though not clear but the fruit mentioned as forbidden is ‘Apple’.

From the first human beings on this earth to generations later, Sir Isaac Newton had an apple fall from a tree to define the fundamentals of science.

Coincidence had it that Newton was under an apple tree otherwise a plum tree was adjacent. So ‘apple’ has a presumed role in existence of human race on this planet and also laid the foundation to explain the basics of physics.

Kashmir is famous for its beauty and its ‘apples’. Apple is a major horticulture produce that has been the backbone of economic stability of Kashmiris.

Though not conclusive, history says that apple tree was brought here 800 years back and ever since apple cultivation was taken up on a large scale, thanks to the weather and  the availability of huge chunks of  fertile lands.

With a robust horticulture department and lots of private entrepreneurship many in Kashmir, especially in Sopore and Shopian, took up this form of rozgar. Apples are economy. A huge industry responsible for 8% of GDP with efforts to increase the productivity from 10 to 15 MT/hectare (GK 1 Nov, 2022, page 7).

Far away in the west, another Apple came into being less than half a century back- the ‘APPLE’ of the 21st century.  In 1976 three young American entrepreneurs made the ‘Apple Computer Company’ to develop and sell personal desktop computers.

The logo initially was Newton under an apple tree, but later changed to an apple that had colors of rainbow engrossed horizontally in a set proportion and even later changed to its present monochromatic form. A bite at the top right lateral position was engraved to distinguish it from a cherry. This today is the most sought after logo?

From desk top computers, ‘APPLE’  rose to make- i phones,  airpods, watches, i pads, Mac books, and provide services like stores, card, music, TV, pay. ‘APPLE’ grew up to be the most sought after brands for the millennials and elders alike, and considering its exclusiveness it is a rage throughout.

Our ‘apples’ too tried to boost their mark with all the limitations. With advancements in technology the modern day orchards ramified from 5 basic apple varieties to whole new Italian and Bulgarian high density variants which after few years produce the fruit, making it a quick and easier way of earning.

Nowadays Kashmiri apple lands in various areas of state, country and even beyond the borders almost throughout the year  thanks to getting  stuffed in oxygen depleted chambers of controlled atmospheric (CA) units and brought out 3 months later to be send to far off destinations never thought of before.

So we have the APPLE that rose from nothing to something in profit and shares within a span of 4 decades, thanks to a well planned strategy, marketing and execution.

Doing things scientifically, advertising vehemently, increasing the numbers by having manufacturing throughout the continents is what helped in bringing APPLE to what it is today,  nearly a 4 trillion dollar company. And we have the Kashmiri apple that is still reeling under old influence marketing strategy.

We may have seen some advances in the apple sector at multiple fronts but that has its own caveats. No well prepared plan in advance in its distribution network has brought woes, pain and suffering this year.

Mismatch between limited road surface and the huge number of vehicles plying on an unsettled highway, less number of trucks with limited load capacity, CA stores that have a storage capacity of 2 lac MT versus requirement of 5 lac MT are some of the reasons cited for the fail to reap the benefits.  The heavy losses incurred this year will show their effect in coming season.

That ‘APPLE’ has been bitten on a side with rest of it plush, plum and shining. That bite is a fixed share that the company makes by keeping the brand exclusive.

Unfortunately Kashmiri apple is bitten on all sides, by many, by its caretaker with sub standard pesticides, by middle men for their commission, by truck drivers for ever hiking charges, by vagaries of weather and traffic snarls, by competition from foreign variants flooding markets.

Till the time these bites continue to affect our apple it is going to get stale and staler. A solitary bite like on that APPLE has to be replicated on our apples to keep them flourishing and us earning.

APPLE is the largest technology company by revenue, market capitalization, 4th largest personal computer vendor, 2nd largest mobile phone manufacturer and day on the list goes up and up.

Our apples may be the backbone of economy for a third of the population but the ill- planning will result in losses every year. We need to save our apple by taking lessons from that APPLE.

If proper measures are not taken we may not see an apple falling from a tree and perhaps this may become a forbidden fruit in the eyes of Kashmiris.

Dr Muzafar Maqsood Wani Consultant Nephrologist, SKIMS, Soura

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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