Optimism Abounds in Shopian Apple Mandi as National Highway Woes Vanish

This year the expectations are very good and by the grace of Allah things are going well, said an apple trader in Shopian mandi. The big issue that we faced regarding the National Highway has been solved almost 100 percent. The vehicles carrying fresh fruits are now not being stopped anywhere. This is a very good step by the government which is benefitting us, said apple wholesalers. If there is no traffic jam then we can reach Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu or Kolkata in 5-6 days, said truck drivers. We are expecting this to be a good season. It will benefit apple traders, farmers, wholesalers and the common public. The apple season has just started. We have to give attention to the quality of apples, said another trader. Earlier we catered to national market. Now we are in the international market and we have to compete. To compete in the international markets, growers have to be knowledgeable. It becomes the responsibility of the Horticulture Department to make the growers aware. The focus should be on quality rather than quantity so that we can compete well. Those who have done sorting of apples well, their products have sold at good rates. A 10 kg of a carton of apples sold off at Rs 2700, says Raees Khan of Shopian Apple Mandi

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