“We grow apples, cherries, kiwi, bananas, pears, pineapples and strawberries. We never sought any help from the state government to improve the yield of the crop. But try and adopt various techniques to increase yield by us”, said farmer Mohammad Ijaak, who is based in Srinagar.
“70 percent of the population in Kashmir is dependent on the cultivation of fresh fruits for their livelihood. So the motive is to increase the turnover of this industry every year. The turnover of the fresh fruits industry this year has doubled to around Rs. 400 crore,” said Gulam Ahmed Imtiaz, a farmer in Pampore district in Kashmir.
“The state government has launched some schemes for farmers but they are not beneficial. Government officials demand bribes to give us these benefits. Which is why we never go for schemes and subsidies. We focus on making our land as fertile as possible, on our own, and the government cannot stop us from doing this”, said Imtiaz.
The state government must give Kashmiri fruit farmers what they need --train farmers in the usage of modern technology and provide them with better pesticides and machines to cultivate the land, said another farmer Raj Mohan, who is based in Srinagar.