Sweet Success for Kashmir’s Apple Growers in 2023 | Higher Rates, Govt Initiatives Changing Fortunes This year in 2023 the growth of apples in the farm was 60%. But the rates offered for apples was better than the rates compared to the last ten years, said an apple trader in Shopian district of Jammu & Kashmir. This year the crop was a little less but the rate was high. We are grateful to the LG administration and the Jammu & Kashmir government for this. The common farmers are also saying that the government has opened the national highway for 24 hours so that the fruit laden trucks can transport without hassle. Now there are no complaints regarding trucks being stopped. The LG government also laid stress on the medicines being sprayed on fruit trees. The apple traders said they had to spray 10-12 medicines. The Jammu & Kashmir Agriculture Director made sure that there should be no fake medicine in use. Fake medicines were coming to Shopian, which they had banned to some extent. We are very happy this year. Last year, farmers selling 1000 crates of apples in the mandi used to get just Rs 300-Rs 400 per crate. No for the same, they are getting Rs 1200 or so. This apple store has 5000 metric tonne capacity. Here apples are stored. We charge the apple growers Rs 37 per crate in a month. The apple growers keep their apples in the cold chain store for about 6-7 months. So that they get a good rate as per demand. From that perspective, the cold chain store is a good initiative. Around 150 people are working here. Around 100 people are from outside. Those working full time are around 40 in numbers. The machine here does grading, packing and sorting. It churns out 4-5 tonnes of apples in one hour. There are different sections like dumping, washer, drying, and weights section. The grading of apples in Kashmir is as per weight and colour. We sort out different sizes as per the grade. After its packing the trader takes it to different places for good rates.