A grower grading apples as per their size in a Pulwama village
A grower grading apples as per their size in a Pulwama village | Photo: Reshi Irshad

SRINAGAR — In a major setback to Kashmir’s most vital industry horticulture, the prices of packing material of apples have increased abruptly due to which apple growers fear losses.

Growers across Kashmir, while talking to the news agency KNO, said that the cost of packing material has increased by around 30 to 40 per cent in Kashmir in the last few days only due to which growers are fearing losses.

Fayaz Ahmad, an apple grower from Shopian, said, “Usually, we were purchasing wooden apple boxes at Rs 70 to 80 but this time the same boxes are being sold at Rs 110 to 130.” He said that they were getting cardboard boxes at Rs 35 to 40 but the same boxes are being sold for around Rs 50 this year.

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Other growers also echoed the same voice and said that cost of apple boxes, papers and other things besides the labour rate has also increased due to which growers are fearing losses this year.

They said that rates have increased abruptly and it will prove disastrous for the growers as growers have suffered huge losses due to COVID-19, untimely snowfall, hailstorms and other things in the last few years.

They requested the government to look into the matter and take steps to check the reasons behind the abrupt price hike.

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President of Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers and Dealers Association and New Kashmir Fruit Association, Bashir Ahmad Bashir told KNO that the price of packing material has increased sharply in Kashmir and rates of almost every fruit have remained low this year.

He said that the price hike is of around 30 to 40 per cent this year and government must intervene at the earliest, otherwise, growers will face losses.

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