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Apple growers in Kashmir 'stop' cold storage packing as prices witness downfall

 Apple growers in Kashmir 'stop' cold storage packing as prices witness downfall

Profits dwindling, orchardists plunging into morass

Jahangeer Ganaie

Srinagar, May 08 (KNO): In a concerning turn of events for apple growers, the persistently plummeting rates of their produce have prompted many to abandon packing operations for their stored produce.

As per the details available with the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the growers and traders have stopped packing their produce as rates have gone further down, thereby creating financial strain for growers and traders.

Employees working in cold storage units said that with cold storage units brimming with apples yet to be packed, growers and traders aren't in position to pack their produce as they are facing tough choices amid the market downturn.

They said that most of the growers and traders have suspended packing operations that underscores the severity of the situation, with growers grappling to mitigate losses in the face of dwindling profits.

Experts believe that there are many reasons behind the down markets and one of the main reasons is the import of apples from different countries including Africa, Iran.

They emphasized the need for strategic interventions to support apple growers during this critical period who have been suffering heavy losses.

They said that there is a need for market stabilization measures and concerted efforts are essential to safeguarding the livelihoods of growers and traders.

Shahid Ahmad an employee of a Cold storage unit said that traders purchased produce in the main season at good rates but currently they aren't getting even what they spent on it like rent, labour and other charges.

He said that rates in the last two weeks have dipped further and apples are being sold at around Rs 600-650 per box that was around 1200-1500 in the main season.

Growers who have kept their produce in CA stores said that they have been facing huge losses and if the government won't intervene, they will lose trust in this vital sector.

They have sought the attention of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and the concerned authorities to take steps to save growers and traders at this critical stage—(KNO)

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