In north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, apple tourism will be launched in Sopore town. Pune based NGO ‘Sarhad’ and local apple growers will together work on this initiative. This will help in increasing job opportunities amongst youth as well as will bring rise in tourism.
Sopore Apple Mandi president Fayaz Ahmad Malik said that in the month of October, apple festival will be set up in various cities of Maharashtra and urged people of Maharashtra to take part in the festival.
Malik said that this could help in providing boost to the apple industry which is spread almost in every part of Kashmir, especially the rural areas. He further added that both apple growers and tour operators will be benefitted through this.
The social organisation headed by Sanjay Nahar has joined hands with the apple growers to boost tourism in Kashmir, focusing on apple cultivation.
He said that apple processing units will be installed in various towns in the Valley and various varieties of apple products will also be promoted for marketing at international level which will bring an increase in employment opportunities for the local population.
Nahar said that for the development of infrastructure for apple tourism the NGO will mobilise travel agents, officials from the tourism department and other stakeholders.
Fayaz, along with apple grower Aadil Malik and other local farmers will initiate apple tourism.
As per reports, nearly seven lakh farming families (approximately 35 lakh people) are directly or indirectly associated with the sector. Apple trade contributes to around 8% of the UT’s GDP and the government is trying to increase production by introducing high-density plantations.