Srinagar, November 9: General Secretary J&K Kisan Tehreek (JKKT) Ghulam Nabi Malik on Monday said that the reports of authorities stopping fruit laden trucks along Srinagar-Jammu national highway for the last several days is a worrying trend as already the horticulture sector in Kashmir has suffered huge losses in the last two years due to various reasons.
The continuous stoppage of hundreds of fruit laden trucks loaded from various mandis of Kashmir along the highway has led to the huge losses to them as apple and other fresh fruits are perishable commodities.
The fruit industry in Kashmir faced economic consequences due to the lockdown imposed after the Centre abrogated Article 370 last August. And then unseasonal snowfall on November 7 last year wreaked havoc followed by another lockdown in March after Covid19 pandemic.
From transportation, and a slump in rates, fruit growers faced multiple problems in selling produce last season. Last year sky-rocketing freight prices and undue stoppages of apple-laden trucks on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway badly hit Kashmir’s fruit growers. The halting of fruit trucks on the highway created a crisis-like situation as delays caused huge losses to the perishable fruits.
J&K administration must not only ensure smooth flow of fruit laden trucks along the Srinagar-Jammu national highway this time but also control the transportation charges. These problems only compound the fruit growers’ trouble, which include the sales of substandard pesticides and fertilizers in the market and a lack of cold storage facilities.
Malik assured his full support to the fruit traders in their demand to ensure hassle free movement of fruit laden trucks along the highway.