The Kashmir valley saw a bumper cherry crop produce this season and the harvesting has started. In a bid to support the farmers, the government has arranged to airlift the produce to different parts of the country.
The move is aimed at benefitting the farmers monetarily and ensuring that the fruits are not damaged waiting for the buyers.
”About cherry, this year our government has earmarked a separate budget for cherry transportation, and we have signed an MoU with GoAir recently. We have taken up with the government to provide subsidies also. Normally our production is 14 thousand metric tonnes or more but we are expecting a higher yield this year. Production is more and diseases among the fruit trees are less,” said Aijaz Ahmad, Director of Horticulture Department.
“The produce is good and the market is good too. Our whole produce was wasted last year but this year it’s been good, traffic is moving. If the government takes our produce, it will benefit farmers a lot,” said Gulzar Ahmad, a farmer.
“The produce this year is good but the market should retain. If we are able to send it across, we will be benefitted. The government is saying we will take the produce at less cost and sell it. We are getting good rates,” said Mohd Ayub, another farmer.
The farmers are now expecting that the government will provide them similar support with other crops as well. Apple, almond and walnut growers are hoping that the government will come up with some scheme for them too.