Apples galore! Bumper crop ready to hit the market

Srinagar: Favourable climatic conditions and the efforts of the horticulture department seem to have borne fruit this season, as farmers in Kashmir get ready to ship out large quantities of apples.

“1,45,000 hectares of land has apple orchards and this year we are expecting 18,00,000 metric tonnes of fruit production,” said the state’s Deputy Director of Horticulture Mohamed Yousuf Dar.

The department is expecting a huge turnover due to this crop. “With the help of this delicious and world-famous apple crop, we are expecting an annual turnover of Rs 7,000 crore,” Dar added.

Districts like Shopian, Baramulla, Anantnag, and Ganderbal are known for their apple crop, and harvesting process is in full swing during this time. While farmers have already sent early varieties outside the state and to the local markets of the valley, varieties like American, Maharaji and Chamboora are still in the orchards.

Being the main fruit crop, apple generates employment at a large-scale in the valley. A large number of labourers are required in the packing and harvesting of the crop.

Interventions of scientists belonging to the horticulture department have greatly helped the farmers. Introduction of new varieties of seeds has shortened the yield time, while the recommended fertilisers assure a large production of the crop without compromising on the high quality.

Farmers are greatly satisfied by the apple crop this year and believe that the high quality of the produce will fetch them good prices in the market.