Kashmir: Planting apple trees: Apple alone generates tens of crores of rupees every season for the fruit growers

Seeking to enhance tree cover, benefit the environment and generate future income, Kashmiris turned out en masse this spring to help state authorities plant trees across the state.
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Forest Department workers plant saplings in a north Kashmir forest. In a bid to enhance tree cover and develop forests, lakhs of saplings were planted from March to mid-June in Kashmir forests. 

According to Munshi Iqbal, Divisional Forest Officer, Kamraj division, some 600,000 saplings, mostly belonging to the conifer species, were planted in the Kupwara district alone during the planting campaign, which ran from March to mid-June. 

The effort was part of a longer-term plan, Iqbal indicated. People have realised the importance of forests to mankind and support the department in developing this natural resource," he added.

Environmentalists say the plants offer more than beauty.
"Trees are important for sustenance of life on earth. "I planted about 45 saplings including some apple and walnut this year," Mohammad Ashraf Malik 40, a Kupwara farmer, told Khabar.

Another nursery owned said: "I sold about 4,000 plants, mostly walnut and apple from March to April," he said.

"There was a great demand for apple and cherry plants this year. The horticulture department provided me plants on subsidized rates," another ensthusiastic planter added.

"Apple alone generates tens of crores of rupees every season for the fruit growers," Fayaz Ahmad Malik, president of Fruit Mandi in Sopore, told Khabar.

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