Jahangeer Ganaie

Frequent highway blockade proves dearly for Cherry crop

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Shopian/Pulwama: Cherry growers in South Kashmir’s Pulwama and Shopian district are in distress as the Cherry crop generated this season is fetching them very less returns.
“This year the crop was of better quality and yield but due to low rates and frequent blockade of national highway due to bad weather conditions the growers are getting very low returns,” said Shamim Ahmad,a grower in Shopian.
Cherry growers from different villages of Pulwama and Shoipan district complained that the shelf life of cherry fruit is limited to a few days and the only way to export our stock is through the Srinagar -Jammu national highway, but due to the closure of it by landslide and other reasons many trucks loaded with cherry remained stranded for days.
“Most of the loaded trucks were left stranded for days which affects the quality of cheery and thus fetches us least returns,” said Mohammad Azaan, another cheery orchards owner from Sugan village.
“Non-availability of air conditioned vehicles also adds to our miseries as the trucks laden with this perishable crop remain stranded on the highway for days together thus destroying the crop,” added the growers.
The growers also complained that no cold storage facilities are being offered to them.
“The cold storage facility being provided to apple growers is not made available to us and as a result we suffer huge loses,” another grower complained.
“Last year the rates for cherries were quite encouraging. We used to sell Makhmali at Rs 90, Mishri at 110, Double at 100 and Italy at Rs 250 per box but this year we are already witnessing very low rates which is a worrying sign,” they complained.

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