For that sweet after-taste

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IN THE recent years, Kashmir’s apple industry has grappled with high production and low returns. The industry has witnessed a massive decline and farmers have been distressed due to low returns of the yield. Contrary to that, this year, the situation has been worth jubilation: there has been a significant surge in returns despite a decrease in production. This surge has been unexpected since the central government has relaxed import duty this year by 20 percent for apples imported from the United States of America.

Notwithstanding the decision, the apple growers in Kashmir are fetching good rates for their produce this season. They say that demand for traditional varieties of apples has increased significantly, resulting in hefty profits for farmers.

Traditionally known for its abundant apple orchards, Kashmir has experienced a reduction in apple production due to various factors, including climate fluctuations, tumultuous conflict in the region, and incessant rains which led to the blockage of traffic on National Highway. All these have impacted crop yields.

One of the pivotal reasons for this pricing anomaly can be attributed to the dynamics of demand and supply. Despite a reduced yield, the demand for Kashmiri apples has remained consistently high. The reputation of Kashmiri apples for their exceptional quality and taste, combined with a loyal customer base, has sustained the demand, causing prices to surge despite diminishing productivity in the current season.

One significant factor contributing to the high returns despite lower yields has been the quality of the apples. With less quantity to harvest, farmers have paid more attention to the produce, ensuring meticulous care and fostering optimal growing conditions. The outcome has been a superior quality of produce that has fetched a premium price in the market. Consumers, appreciating the exceptional taste and quality, have been willing to pay a higher price for these superior apples.

Another factor has been the support of the administration in providing a hassle-free movement for the trucks to pass through and reach their destinations timely. It’s time for the present dispensation to establish more cold storages in the Valley and outside, so that farmers could store their fruit for longer durations in order to fetch good returns. This will easily double their income and the Jammu and Kashmir apple industry will experience a new dawn after nearly a decade of redundant prices.

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