Huge losses to grape industry in Ganderbal, farmers appeal for help
By: Sofi Ayaz VOV
Dozens of farmers who have developed grape gardens in Lar block of Ganderbal have said that they are witnessing losses and have appealed to the government to intervene at the earliest to save them from such financial reverses.
This is the second consecutive year of losses for the people who are dealing in grapes and they have appealed to the government to intervene as they have the schemes for the other fresh fruits in Jammu and Kashmir.
Huge Loss in Grape cultivation is a major setback in the economy to the people affiliated with this industry in District Ganderbal. Though the current season witnessed a bumper crop, cultivator’s complain of a poor market due to the present situation created by two waves of pandemic.
The Lar block of District Ganderbal is known for the rich production of grapes. Hundreds of kanals of land in Repora, Watlar and other adjoining areas of Lar block are utilized to cultivate different varieties of grapes which include Sahibi, Kishmish, Hussieni, Thomsan and many more.
The largest production is recorded at Mode vineyard, Kralbagh in Lar block which has been established by Horticulture department.188 hectares of land is under the grape production in this yard with the annual production of 385 metric tons. The Horticulture department sublets the entire yard to contractors for cultivation every year and receives a bid amount. Ironically for the second consecutive year the contractor and other private cultivators benefitted by Government schemes are complaining of a poor market due to the pandemic situation which has affected the economy as well. The cultivators are going through mental stress and are seeking help from government like it has provided to other fruit growers in valley
On the other hand, the Department of Horticulture is continuing the efforts to upgrade this industry by providing Financial and technical support. The department has floated several schemes in order to generate self employment among unemployed youth and according to officials this industry is growing fast in the District.
Though the Horticulture department does not provide marketing support and are not liable to compensate any kind of loss faced by contractors or private cultivators, there is a hope that the department will bailout these cultivators too like other fruit growers, who have been given such financial support by the government.