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Jammu and Kashmir records 700% increase in cold storage storage capacity

Last Updated on March 26, 2022 at 7:29 pm

The Jammu and Kashmir government, in a bid to reduce post harvest losses by increasing the shelf life of various agriculture and horticulture products besides addressing the issue of distress sale of crops by the farmers, has encouraged and aided private players to set up cold storage (CA) facilities.

During the past two years, an enabling environment has been created for transforming J&K agriculture and allied sectors to increase the income of farmers, ensure food security and speed up economic growth of the UT. The government has taken several concrete steps for increasing the Agriculture and Horticulture production besides enhancing the quality of crops while laying special focus on post-harvesting management infrastructure, especially in private sector.

Apples kept in cold storages in Kashmir help farmers to fetch much better rates by selling their production as per their will according to demand.

Senior Horticulture Officer, while elaborating on the initiative, informed that a 10 kilogram box of stored apple has been sold at a minimum of Rs 1,000 and at Rs 1,800 as the highest price depending on the quality and colour of the apple. These rates, according to apple growers and traders, are comparatively much higher than the rates apples get in harvesting season.  The cold storages based at Lassipora Pulwama, Aglar Shopian and a few areas in north Kashmir have the capacity to store about 2.5 lakh metric tonne of apple.

He said that the government aided cold stores would help in fetching higher rates to the A-grade apples in Kashmir which amount to around 8 lakh metric tonne. Earlier, these apples used to be sold at less than their actual value due to inadequate availability of CA stores in the valley. These cold stores are much needed to cater to the high density A Grade apple production which has been started by Horticulture Department Kashmir at large scale.

Director General Horticulture, Kashmir, Aijaz Ahmed Bhat, said that the department is committed towards strengthening the post harvest infrastructure in valley. We are exploring every possible opportunity to have infrastructure like CA stores, Processing Units and related utilities is developed across the Valley and best services are provided to the orchardists, he added.

At present, we are encouraging new entrepreneurs to set up CA storage capacity with government support to cater to the annual production which otherwise would result in distress sales, he said.