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Business Standard Won't survive this disaster: Kashmiri entrepreneurs share lockdown pains

Despite the government's assertion that normalcy has returned, shops and businesses remained shut in Kashmir. Shops opened only twice a day, early morning and late evening.


International News Haji Mohammed Ghani, 74, squatted at the border of his apple orchard, sporting a neatly trimmed, white beard, and a frown. Around him were trees laden with apples ripe for picking. At this time of year, his orchard--in a state that produces two-thirds of India's apples, earning Rs 6,500 crore ($903 million) in exports in 2016-17, contributing to a 10th of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employing 3.3 million workers--should have been buzzing with pickers and packers readying the fruits for shipment across India. On September 8, 2019, when we visited his orchard, there was no activity. Ghani owns five acres of land in an area famous for apple orchards, a village called Choora near the town of Sopore in Baramulla district, 55 km northwest of Srinagar. The trees yield 5,000 boxes of fruit every year, fetching Ghani a profit of Rs 5 lakh. This year, he will settle for whatever he gets. Since August 5, 2019, when the Centre snapped all communication lines in Kashmir--as it abrogated Section 370, which gave Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) special constitutional status--Ghani has not been able to speak to traders in Delhi, Kolkata and Patna to negotiate prices. Several traders used to come to Kashmir to collect the fruit, but they cannot make the trip this year.Some of Ghani’s apples were being sold at the Sopore fruit market but after a September 7, 2019, attack on a trader family by unknown gunmen, even that is not an option. “We survived the hailstorm this year but we will not be able to survive this disaster,” Ghani told IndiaSpend. Now, Srinagar’s fruit hawkers stock his apples but they pay half the normal market price...Read More

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Won't survive this disaster: Kashmiri entrepreneurs share lockdown pains  

Read more about Won't survive this disaster: Kashmiri entrepreneurs share lockdown pains on Business Standard. Despite the government's asse...

Won't survive this disaster: Kashmiri entrepreneurs share lockdown pains  

Read more about Won't survive this disaster: Kashmiri entrepreneurs share lockdown pains on Business Standard. Despite the government's asse...

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