High density apple varieties ready for harvest
Shopian, Aug 4: The harvesting of high density apple varieties is set to begin in apple rich districts of Pulwama and Shopian.
According to the growers, different varieties of the high density apples will be plucked in the next 8 to 10 days.
"We expect a bumper crop this year and I hope growers will reap rich dividends", said Izhan Javed, a grower and Spokesperson Jammu and Kashmir Fruit and Vegetables Processing and Integrated Cold Chain Association.
High density apple orchards are the latest buzz among the apple growers. Many growers in recent years have grown various high-density apple varieties. The popular varieties include Gala Red, Schinco Red, Jeromnie, Red Chief, Red Velox, and Scarlet. These varieties have mostly been imported from Italy.
"These plants enter the fruit bearing stage quickly, which is the core motivation for growers to go for the high density plantation", said Abdul Rashid, an orchardist from Shopian.
Rashid added that after barely four years a high density apple plant could bear 20 to 25 kilograms of apples.
According to Director General Horticulture Kashmir, Aijaz Ahmad Bhat around 5000 kanals of horticulture land is under the cultivation of various high density varieties.
Farooq Ahmad, a high density apple orchardist from Pulwama said that the crop this year was rather good and he looked forward to a good market.
"I hope that we will be able to sell the produce at good prices", Ahmad said.
Shafi Paul, a resident of Shopian's Shirmal village said that the prices of high density varieties were usually much higher than the conventional varieties.
" Last year, I sold one Kg of Schinco variety in Delhi for Rs 150 to Rs 180 per Kg", said Paul.
According to Paul, the harvesting of high density apples will begin from August 15 and last till the first week of September.