Apples from Iran
Kashmiri apple is now facing new competition in the markets as on a daily basis scores of trucks are arriving in the Azadpur Mandi of Delhi with Iranian apples routed through Afghanistan.
Kashmir traders have asked the government to intervene and said that they have no problem if the Iranian apples come to the markets directly from that country.
Routing through Afghanistan without any taxes is making it a cheaper item for the Mandis of Delhi and they are proffering Iranian apple over Kashmir apple purely because of low price.
According to the fruit growers association of Kashmir on a daily basis around 80 trucks are coming from Afghanistan with Iranian apples forcing them to keep the Kashmiri apples in the cold storages.
The annual production of apples in Kashmir Valley ranges from 1.5 million to 1.8 million metric tonnes and total cold storage capacity in the Valley is 120,000 to 130,000 MTs.
Those traders who have transported their apples to Delhi are forced to keep them in cold storages of Delhi and they have to pay for it while the Iranian apples are being sold in the markets presently.
In the spring of 2020 due to the pandemic-induced lockdown, fruit growers couldn’t visit their orchards to spray pesticides. It also resulted in a lot of apples getting the scab and it also diminished the chances of bumper crop.