THE CITIZEN BUREAU | 19 SEPTEMBER, 2019
Apple Farmers of Kashmir Hit By Clampdown
Photographs BASIT ZARGAR
As the military clampdown in Kashmir continues, the multi-crore Kashmir apple trade has reached an all time low, hitting at the economic spine of the state.
After Parliament’s abrogation of Article 370, the local mandis in Srinagar, Shopian and Sopore have been shut down, making business impossible.
Meanwhile, apple farmers have also received threats from militants. Ripe apples are rotting in the orchards with a major means of livelihood for Kashmiris reduced to nought.
Although the government has connected this local business with NAFED or the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd, farmers fear that such procurement and implementation will not be a seamless process. The government has announced its intention to purchase the apples through state bodies.
The Citizen Photographer BASIT ZARGAR sends these pictures from an apple orchard in Anantnag, where harvesting has begun and the owners are going through the motions without a clear idea of what will happen to their produce at the end of the day: