Apples are dearer by 20-30 per cent this season. The reason: the Jammu and Kashmir government’s decision to revoke the order to transfer 99 acres of land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board. And the incidents that followed it.
Apples from Kashmir start pouring in Delhi markets from the first week of August. But during the first 15 days of this month, only 124 apple-laden trucks arrived at Azadpur market, while 840 trucks came from Kashmir by this time last year. On Monday, the number of trucks dwindled to only 10.
General secretary of Delhi Fruit Merchant Association M.R. Kriplani, said in the first week of August, the wholesale prices of apples from Himachal Pradesh crash with the Valley arrivals. But this year, the prices have risen.
“The wholesale prices of apples jumped by 20-30 per cent because of the situation in Kashmir and lower production in Himachal due to rains,” said Balkrishan Jaggi, a fruit merchant at the Azadpur market.
A 20-kg apple box that sold for Rs 700 in July-end fetched between Rs 850 and Rs 900 last week.
“We are getting more for our produce. Prices have risen in all the markets in northern India,” said Sanjay Chauhan, general secretary of Himachal Fruit Growers Association.
Apples from Sapore, Baramulla and the Valley account for 60 per cent of the annual crop, while the rest is from Himachal and Uttrakahand.
Apples from Kashmir earn foreign revenue worth Rs 50 crore through exports.