SRINAGAR: Moin-ud-din, a Bangladeshi trader, has established a presence in north Kashmir’s Sopore, indicating a rising trend that signifies a potentially lucrative market for Kashmiri apples.

Moin-ud-din daily exports more than two trucks of apples to his homeland, where the demand for these fruits is increasing consistently.

While shedding light on the trade right now, he said, “We have been associated with the apple trade in Kashmir for nearly a decade now. We mostly export American varieties of apples to our native country, where the demand for this variety is manifold.”

The demand for Kashmiri apples in Bangladesh has seen a significant uptick in recent years, establishing itself as a noteworthy market for this fruit.

Fayaz Ahmad Malik, President of the North Kashmir Apple Growers Association, provides insights into the scale of this trade, saying, “On average, 25-30 trucks loaded with Kashmiri apples leave for Bangladesh from Sopore Fruit Mandi. During the peak season, almost 30 trucks loaded with apples head to Bangladesh. The dealers from Bangladesh buy American variety apples which have a good demand in this neighboring country.”

Approximately 20 percent of the total apple produce from north Kashmir is shipped to Bangladesh annually, showcasing the robust nature of this cross-border collaboration.

“Currently, we are paying Rs 95 per kilogram of apple as export duty. It sums up Rs 22 Lakh per truck loaded with apples. Kashmiri traders would benefit if the export duty was not imposed by the Bangladeshi government,” Malik said, highlighting a challenge affecting this trade.

To address the growing demand, exporters from Kashmir are actively engaged in partnerships with Bangladeshi distributors and retailers, aiming to establish a seamless supply chain.

Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, a local grower, points out the impact of this collaboration and says, “Sopore Fruit Mandi has become one of the potential markets for the American variety of apples. Growers from other districts also prefer to sell this apple variety here in Sopore Mandi because of the Bangladeshi dealers who offer better rates.” (KNO)


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