COVID-19: uncertain times for Kashmir’s cherry growers 

#GS3 #Economy 

Lockdown has further impacted the market chain which had been disrupted because of the curfew 

  • Kashmir’s first crop of cherry fruit, expected to cross the 11,000 metric tonne (MT) mark this year, is staring at uncertain times due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown. 
  • Double Glass, a variety of cherry, will hit the markets next month. 
  • The fruit growers have already suffered huge losses due to last year’s clampdown and subsequent lockdown. 

Significant jump 

  • The official figures suggest that the yield, 11,789 MT in 2018 and 11,000 MT in 2019, would see a significant jump due to the introduction of high density variety of trees in recent years. 
  • The shelf life of the cherry is short and around 50% is transported outside every year. 
  • According to official figures, around 400 MT was transported by road though refrigerated vans last year. 
  • Besides, 400 MT more was ferried in trains and 900 MT by air. 
  • The orchardists, who have tended over 2,713 hectares, have demanded that all the cart vendors in the Valley be allowed to sell cherry in the open markets locally. 
  • Produced on the outskirts of Srinagar’s Harwan-Zakura belt, Ganderbal, Tangmarg and Shopian districts, the harvest season will start in the last week of May and end by the first week of July. 
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