Coronavirus lockdown looms over strawberry boom in Kashmir

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India May 22, 2020, 11.49 PM(IST) Reported By: Ieshan Bashir Wani

Strawberry boom in Kashmir Photograph:( WION )

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One of the first cash crops of the season in Kashmir, strawberry, is being picked from the farms in Gusoo area on the outskirts of Srinagar and several neighboring districts. Given the profit and less cost, many farmers have shifted from vegetable farming to strawberries given better profit.

Farmers in Jammu and Kashmir are reaping a bumper strawberry crop this season, all thanks to good weather conditions. But what's worrying them is the coronavirus lockdown. 

One of the first cash crops of the season in Kashmir, strawberry, is being picked from the farms in Gusoo area on the outskirts of Srinagar and several neighboring districts. Given the profit and less cost, many farmers have shifted from vegetable farming to strawberries given better profit.

The bumper crop hasn't come as good news for them as many say the coronavirus lockdown is incurring losses due to lack of transportation to send them to outside markets but with fresh relaxations, they expect some change.

"The transportation facility is poor due to the lockdown. The strawberries in this area are spread over 7 acres of land. The market value of the fruit has also come down," Shabir Ahmad, a strawberry farmer, said.

While the shops still remain closed, an initiative to deliver these strawberries directly from farms has been started by a bunch of youth from Srinagar. Everyday 'e-fruit mandi' received 100 to 150 orders, thus turning their delivery business into success during the coronavirus crisis.  

Strawberry boom in Kashmir

"Farmers are unable to send their produce to the market and our idea was to help them by picking up the fruit from them and selling it directly to a customer," Abid Rashid, co-founder, FastBeetle, said.

He added the demand for such goods has increased in the Kashmir market after the CoronaVirus lockdown. 

"People don't like to move out. They want to sit at home and have delivered," Abid said. 

The owners say they have been able to maake profit by delivering strawberries and apples when many businesses are suffering losses.