As Tourists Do Explore The Apple Valley And Buy From Local Growers To Help The Local Economy
Let us take you to the world of Apples in Kashmir, the green apple orchards dotted with snow capped peaks rising above the horizon is a feast for the eyes.
Kashmir is referred to as the famous fruit bowl of India.
Kashmiri apples have gained popularity among the people across the globe for its unique yet delicious taste. These Apples are locally termed as “Chunt”.
When we visited the apple orchard, Qadir bhai, the proprietor, welcomed us wholeheartedly. After the initial exchange of ‘Salam’, he guided us through his orchard. He showed us the entire process from plucking to cleaning to segregation and finally transportation. While we were exploring, he served us glasses of freshly brewed apple juice, this perhaps was the best juice I have tasted till date in my life. The taste was ‘Heavenly’, he also offered us apple pickle, apple chutney and apple murabba. Everything he served us so fresh basically right out of the farm. Don’t forget to buy the local products.
Apple Valley In Kashmir is on the Pahalgam Road. It is located at (9 Kms Away From, Bijbehara, On The Way Of to Pahalgam) in Anantnag district.
Also Watch :- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yusXZwtnUAE
This is a valley of apple farms. Thus, it got the name Apple Valley in Pahalgam. It is one of the best places to eat fresh apples, hike in an apple garden and stay in Mountain View resorts. You can find many apple plantation workers doing their routine jobs like plucking apples, sorting apples by size and sending them in baskets to the warehouse.
Hiking is the only way to see the orchid beauty of Apple Valley present on the Himalayas found in Pahalgam Tehsils. A day trip is necessary to hike and explore this exotic valley. Apart from Apple gardens, there are dicotyledonous herbs found on the slopes of this mountain valley. It is the best place to take photos of the wild orchids present in the Himalayas. The Apple garden found here are private properties. Yet they allow tourists without taking any admission charges. Sometimes, they do give apples as free to the tourists. Yet, you can buy them by paying a price, if you wish to take them home and distribute them in the name of the Apple Valley tour.
How to reach: Apple Valley
Apple Valley is 40 kms away from Pahalgam. You can reach here via road through private taxis.
Entry fee: NIL
Timing: 06:00 AM to 06:00 PM
From the second week of August upto the end October is the ripening and plucking season of all apples in Kashmir and one can see clusters of apples in orchards and you will find apple orchards on the way to pahalgam called apple valley where you get all varieties of apples.
Problems Faced By Apple Growers In The Valley
This industry is presently witnessing what could be argued price crash, affecting the livelihood of common masses, with no state intervention. While the tourism sector contributes nearly six percent to the state GDP, apple farming contributes around eight percent to the state GDP.
The sector has been in crisis due to increasing costs of inputs, climate change and more recently increase in supply due to favorable import policy.
The use of these chemicals has made the apple trees prone to diseases. The use of pesticides has increased considerably to save the harvest from many diseases. This in turn gives rise to the sale of substandard fertilizers, fungicides, and pesticides.
The availability of cold storage is important for prevention of distress sale.
Import Policy also plays an important role in deciding the price. A box of apples from Iran weighing 10 kg is sold between Rs 600-850 in India, giving tough competition to local produce. The same quantity of apple from Kashmir or Himachal Pradesh is sold at Rs 900-1,100. This has resulted in a slump in the trade of domestic produce.
The impact of climate change on the apple industry has been visible in recent years. The frequency of snowfall, hail storms and gusty winds has increased in recent years which has negatively impacted apple production.
In order to enhance the income of apple growers, there is need to address the infrastructural bottlenecks, technical upgradation of capabilities of horticultural staff, improvement in market intelligence system, branding and government need to regulate the pesticides.
Travel And Don’t Stop!