Fruit growers complain of losses, Rue low demand, transport shortage
Srinagar: The Fruit Growers on Friday complained that they were facing huge losses due to low demand besides shortage of transport besides increased freight rates.
The growers from various areas said the fruit demand has remained low this year while the freight has been doubled and no transport was available to carry apples outside Kashmir.
“This year the rates of apple boxes have almost doubled while the labour charges, fertilizer and pesticide rates have increased,” Javaid Ahmad, a fruit grower from Pulwama said.
He said that freight rates have doubled in the last few days and growers, who are ready to pay double freight, are facing transport shortages.
“The growers are not even able to fetch the amount that they spent on apples this year for fertilizers, pesticides and other things,” said Ghulam Hassan Thoker, a grower from Anantnag.
He said that market was going down with each passing day and some growers have stopped picking apples.
“The market is down by around 40 percent as compared to last year which has left the growers at the receiving end,” he said.
Growers said that they have already suffered huge losses since 2019 due to clampdown, Covid-19 pandemic, hailstorm, climate change, early snowfall and outbreak of various diseases.
“If the same condition continues for a year or two, we would be left with no option other than to shift to some other crop,” the growers rued.