Snow shakes apple industry in Kashmir

Apples buried under snow in Kashmir

Kashmir Magazine

Javid Zargar

The untimely snowing early November this year has shaken the roots of apple industry in Kashmir. Since apple industry in the backbone of Kashmir economy, the losses caused to the apple orchardists to the tune of rupees 500 crores can’t be compensated by a cash relief of few thousands. Technical support from the government and the assessment based cash relief are the initiatives taken by the government after declaring snowing on November 3/4 a natural calamity but the concessions to be offered to orchardists under the national calamity policy are yet to be explained. Since the port folio of Agriculture and Horticulture looked after by Khursheed Ahmad Ganai as Advisor to Governor has now been allocated to B B Vyas another Advisor to Governor, even naives can understand that it would take some more time for B B Vyas to get the losses assessed in quick time and fix a criteria for cash relief compensation.

In a very sorry state of affairs the government has talked about technical guidance to orchardists hit by recent snowing but the technical experts are yet to reach out to the growers whose apples have rotten under the snow in the orchards and the government didn’t asses the loss caused by the damage to the truck loads of apple which were stranded on Srinagar-Jammu highway for about a week. Merely declaring the snow a natural calamity for assessing the losses won’t work but a time bound process for assessment of the losses and disbursement of cash relief to the snow hit growers can be satisfying for those who don’t see any hope for revival of the apple industry in Kashmir valley. Commitment of expert guidance can be satisfying if the experts reach out to farmers in short time and guide them to rebuild the orchards hit by the recent snowing.