Snowfall aftershock: Apple boxes stocked at Shopian Mandi damaged

Snowfall aftershock: Apple boxes stocked at Shopian Mandi damaged

Shopian, Nov 09 : The season’s first snowfall in Kashmir has wreaked havoc to the fruit growers in South Kashmir’s Shopian district as hundreds of apple boxes, stocked at Fruit Mandi Aglar here have suffered extensive damage.

According to the wire service –the farmers had stocked their apple crop at the mandi stalls, to be sold under Market Intervention Scheme (MIS), after getting directions from the concerned authorities.

“We were told to stock apple boxes here, however, even after two weeks, the crop is yet to be procured under MIS,” Imran Ahmad, a local grower said.

He said the concerned officials have not loaded a single truck in last one week due to their ‘callous attitude’. 

The 36-hours of incessant rainfall followed by moderate snowfall since the intervening night of Wednesday-Thursday caused extensive damage to hundreds of apple laden boxes.

“A huge number cardboard apple boxes got damaged in the mandi stalls, which led to a heavy loses to the farmers,” the distressed farmers said.

Some of farmers however alleged that they have been facing tough time as only blue-eyed farmers could sell their crop to the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED), which is the nodal agency for procuring apples. While as, majority of farmers have been waiting for their turn to sell apples for weeks together.

The administration was caught napping despite weather advisories issued by the Meteorological (MeT) department here- leading to chaos and confusion among the people.

Reports from several parts of Kashmir Valley said that the season’s first snowfall has caused widespread damage to the apple trees as the farmers have pruned roughly some 20 percent of their orchards, while as, maximum trees were yet to be pruned.

This was the second snowfall in the month of November in Kashmir in last one decade, which caused widespread damage to the mainstay of the Valley economy – horticulture.

An official in the J&K horticulture department told KNO the department was still assessing the damages as the officials have been deployed to assess the damages. (KNO)

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