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Harvesting of cherry at peak In Kashmir Valley

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Cherry harvesting in South Kashmir’s Shopian district began on May 28 and will continue till the end of July

SANJANA TIWARI

Ground Report | Srinagar: After the relaxation from the covid 19 lockdowns, the cherry crop harvesting in the Kashmir valley is peaked. Cherry crop is ready in Kashmir Valley. The Horticulture Department said that this time 12 thousand metric tonnes of cherries have been produced in Jammu and Kashmir. There has been a tremendous production of cherry in the state. Experts believe that this will improve the income of the farmers doing cherry horticulture.

Although cherry production has been good this year compared to previous years, farmers are complaining that they are not getting a fair price for the fruit due to the untimely marketing of Corona Lockdown. The harvesting of this crop began late this year because of the covid-19 threat & the lockdown, but moderate weather did not affect it and as result, the quality is much better this year.

A cherry grower said “in comparison to last year the quality is much better this year. the lockdown has impacted the season very badly but the quality of crops will give us good returns.” He added that there are four types of cherries in Kashmir, including double, mushy, velvet, and Italian cherries.

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He said that despite spraying pesticides and other precautions from time to time, buyers are no longer available because the transport wheel is jammed due to the lockdown. While the crop is now deteriorating.

Cherry harvesting in South Kashmir’s Shopian district began on May 28 and will continue till the end of July. Growers are largely choosing Italy, Velvet, and double varieties of the fruit, while Misri, one of the most sought-after varieties, will be ready for harvesting a few days later. More than a dozen villages including Nadigam, Losedanev, Nagisharan, Handyu, Imamsaheb, Arshipora, and Shaltu are producers of cherry fruit in the area.

Apart from abroad, about eight metric tonnes of cherries will be sent to different states of the country. With the bumper production of cherry, the economic condition of the gardeners will be very strong. 

Meanwhile, many traders in the cherry industry say that this year’s crop was expected to be even better than the previous three years, but due to the untimely guidance of experts and inattention of the concerned department, cherry orchards in many places. I can see the crop is not equal. Although Kashmir had a good harvest this year, the lockdown made it difficult to buy, sell and transport. Despite spending on pesticides, farmers are finding it difficult to find buyers. Many farmers’ crops are now deteriorating.

“The production is good and the market is good too. Last year our entire produce was wasted but this year it has been good, traffic is increasing. If the government takes our produce, it will greatly benefit the farmers,” said Gulzar Ahmed, a farmer.

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He added, “This year the production is good but the market should remain intact. If we are able to overcome it, we will benefit. The government is saying that we will take the product at a lower price and sell it. We are getting good rates.”

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