Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness — John Keats’s description of an English autumn holds good for the season in Kashmir too. Simply because the Valley’s chinar bushes don the hues of fall, its orchards come alive with apple selecting. It’s the busiest interval of the yr for orchardists throughout the Valley. They rent migrant labourers to pluck apples from the bushes, type and pack the produce in packing containers and picket cartons, after which transport them to nodal wholesale markets. Starting September until November, the orchards of Kashmir provide apples to mandis throughout India. Vehicles roll into the Union Territory from states so far as Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The automobiles go away the Valley with a number of kinds of apple. The 4 most outstanding ones are ‘scrumptious’, ‘ambri’, ‘chamura’ and ‘maharaji’.
Nevertheless, the revocation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, and the resultant shutdown of Kashmir crippled this supply-and-distribution chain final yr.
The yr 2020, too, has been harsh on Kashmir.
The all-India lockdown because of the novel coronavirus pandemic imposed a set of recent tips and restrictions relating to interstate actions. This spelled doom for the merchants, who haven’t stopped counting the losses from final yr.
The influence of the lockdown can be a priority for Kashmir’s walnut growers. The Kashmiri walnut has an enormous market even outdoors India. The superfood is exported to greater than 20 international locations. Employees take away a inexperienced masking by hand earlier than the walnut is dried within the solar.
Textual content and pictures by Nissar Ahmad