Apple growers, bat makers set to face massive losses in Kashmir

Published: Aug 22, 2019, 13:50 IST | mid-day online correspondent |

Farmers are staring at a massive loss this year as the labour force has left the state of Jammu and Kashmir after the mass exodus of non-Kashmiris from the Valley following government advisory

Pic/Twitter IANS
Pic/Twitter IANS

Over two weeks ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government on August 5, 2019, passed the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Bill 2019 with 370 members of parliaments (MPs) voting in favour and 70 against it. With the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Bill 2019 stripping the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories, now Jammu and Kashmir will have its own legislature and while Ladakh will be without legislature.

But the continuous lockdown in the valley is having a massive impact on the livelihood of people with apple farmers bring worries due to the harvest season being just around the corner. Shophin and Kulgam, the twin districts located in South Kashmir, which are the major apple growing centres where people grow apples on a large scale are sure as to what lies in store.

Also Read: Raj Thackeray hails government's decision to scrap Article 370 as 'Exceptional'

There is a sense of uncertainty among the apple growers in Kashmir. Although the apple will ripe in a week's time, farmers are staring at a massive loss this year as the labour force has left the state of Jammu and Kashmir after the mass exodus of non-Kashmiris from the Valley following government advisory.

While speaking to news agency IANS, Muzaffar Ahmad, an apple grower in Anantnag in south Kashmir said, "It looks very unlikely that we will be able to meet our target under the prevailing conditions. I am not a stone pelter... What is my fault, why am I made to suffer."

The impact of the shutdown in the valley is such that people in the Hallmolla area of Anantnag, which is famous for manufacturing cricket bat are echoing similar sentiments. Many bat makers are saying that there are no takers for the willows at the moment, reports IANS.

Also Read: Disappointed at not being allowed to enter Jammu and Kashmir: Ghulam Nabi Azad

Gul Javed, a bat manufacturer from Kashmir said, "Our business is totally dependent on tourists and yatris. With almost zero visitors in Kashmir now, our business has plunged to almost zero. Our labourers have gone, while untimely rains have made things worse for us."

With inputs from IANS

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