Kashmir: Apple growers in Kashmir are facing huge losses due to the continuous lock down in the Kashmir Valley. With harvesting round the corner, Kashmir apple growers are staring at bleak business and shortage of labour.
Shopian Kulgam and Anantnag in south Kashmir are major apple production centres in Kashmir. Ali Mohammad a farmer looks at the apples in his orchard in Shopian with a sense of uncertainty. He says, “My crop will ripen in a week’s time, but the labour force meant to pluck the apples is gone. Most of the non-Kashmiris have moved out of Kashmir following the government advisory. It looks very unlikely that we will be able to pluck the apples and send them to the mandis in Delhi in the absence of labour.”
The impact of the restrictions and continuous shutdown is growing with every passing day with the woes of the farmer multiplying.
Adil Amin, an apple grower in Anantnag says, “We are not protestors, what is our fault?”
In Anantnag which is a bat manufacturing centre bat manufacturers say the losses are huge as there have been no takers for bats. Rafiq Ahmad, a bat manufacturer said, “Our business is totally dependent on tourists who travel between Srinagar and Jammu, with almost zero visitors in Kashmir out business has come to a total halt.”