After two years of dull apple season, Mumbaikars can expect a good year for juicy apples from Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir. Both apple-growing states witnessed a bumper crop this year, and the price even at the beginning of the season is under control. The average buying price of apples at the Fruits market in the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) is around Rs 80 per kg.
At present, at the Fruits market in APMC Vashi, around 50 trucks laden with apples from Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir are arriving every day. Sanjay Pansare, the director of the Fruits Market says that there is a good supply of apples so far this year. However, he added that the majority of the supply is from Himachal Pradesh. “Around 40 trucks of the total arrival are from Himachal Pradesh,” said Pansare. He added that the total arrival would be around 300 to 400 tonnes of apples every day.
While apples from Kashmir are commanding Rs 600 to Rs 1000 per box, containing 12 to 15 kg of apple, the Himachal Apple is available from Rs 1500 to Rs 2000 per box, containing around 20 to 25 kg of apple. “The size of Himachal Apple is big and demand for it is more than Kashmiri apple,” said Pansare.
“The transportation time from Kashmir is more due to security checks of trucks at multiple places and this affects the supply and spoilage,” he said.
The retail price of apple starts at Rs 40 per kg and goes up to Rs 140 per kg, depending upon the quality, said Pansare adding that during festivals like Navratri, there may be a little price rise.
The last two years were not good for apple growers. The lockdown had left a severe impact on the annual trade of Kashmiri apples as apple growers could not fungicide an adequate number of times due to the unavailability of labourers, leaving the crops damaged.
Taushik Ahmad of Abasi Traders from Kashmir says that after two years of loss, they have a good yield of the fruit. However, due to bumper crops, apple prices have crashed in Kashmir.
Ahmad says that many of the apple traders in Kashmir collapsed financially during the lockdown as there was hardly any demand. “We faced difficulties to repay the bank loan,” said Ahmed. However, he is optimistic that they will make a profit as the season will continue till the end of the year.
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