The Bold Voice of J&K

Dearer fruits

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The fallout of recent floods in Jammu and Kashmir can be felt in New Delhi also economically. This is no exaggeration of the fact. With festive season beginning dry fruits, fruits do become dearer but this time the price hike would be felt by the people more. Most of the fruit stocks which were in warehouses in Kashmir Valley for onward journey to Delhi market must be ripe or rotten due to prolonged water logging. The traders in Azadpur wholesale market considered to be Asia’s biggest Mandi, are finding difficulty in transporting the consignment from Valley to Delhi due to road communication yet to be restored fully. The biggest worry for them would be the festive season sale taking a hit. Most of the Delhi traders block entire orchards in advance and they are the worst affected. After Uttarakhand floods in 2013 apple from Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir met the demand. With festive season on, the prices of walnut, Kashmiri almond and dried apricot have already risen. The demand for dry fruits is the highest from Navratras to Diwali. There are hardly any stocks with them as Kashmir is the biggest producer and supplier of dry fruit especially walnuts. While dry fruits come from Afghanistan also, Kashmir walnuts and almonds are the most sought after for their taste and quality. Bakery and sweetmeat owners are the other section of traders who too will find the rising cost of dry fruits driving the cost of their products upwards. With most of the dry fruit stocks remaining waterlogged for quiet some time there is every possibility of the produce losing taste and quality. For quiet sometime the traditional sweets exchanged during marriages and festivities like Diwali were overtaken by the dry fruits because people became more health conscious and aware of large scale adulteration and sub-standard quality. Now with calamity stricken dry fruits and fruits and the rising prices of the commodities will the traditional Mithai will regain its place once again is to be seen. So economic fallout of Jammu and Kashmir tragedy is not a case in isolation.

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