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Farmers Rush to Cold Storage Units as Kashmiri Apple Prices Soar

December 2, 2023
Iranian Apple Fruit

Srinagar: despite a decrease in high-quality apple production in Kashmir due to erratic weather conditions, there has been substantial nationwide demand for Kashmiri apples this year. This increased market interest has led to full-capacity operations in Kashmir’s cold storage facilities, primarily due to the improved market rates for Kashmiri apples.

With hopes of a continued upward trend in the market, farmers have stored substantial apple quantities in these cold storage units.

Bashir Ahmad Bashir, President of Parimpora Fruit Mandi, shared with KNO that all cold storages in Kashmir are currently running at maximum capacity.

“This year, Grade ‘A’ apples fetched better prices, prompting most farmers to store their produce in cold storages, anticipating even higher rates in the period between April and June next year,” he remarked.

Bashir stressed the expectation of a consistent flow of apple shipments from Kashmir in the upcoming months. “Cold storage facilities have proven advantageous for farmers, enabling them to sell their apples during the off-season at profitable rates,” he emphasized.

Additionally, Bashir highlighted the significance of storing apples in cold chains to mitigate losses due to the influx of Iranian apples. “This could be another reason why farmers are storing their apples in large quantities in cold storage, knowing that only Kashmiri apples will hit the market during the off-season next year,” he added.

A cold storage proprietor informed KNO that the majority of cold storage units in Kashmir reached full capacity earlier in November, much ahead of the usual month of December.

“Usually, cold storage reaches its full capacity in December. However, this year, most farmers opted to store their produce in cold storage units,” the owner stated.

Ghulam Mohammad Dar, a grower from Baramulla, expressed that cold storage has become a beacon of hope for farmers aiming for better returns on their crops.

“We’ve noticed a consistent demand for Kashmiri apples between April and July in recent years. Consequently, cold storage has become a viable avenue for farmers to secure better prices for apples during the off-season,” he concluded.

(With inputs from KNO)

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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