Notwithstanding the ongoing 98-day long unrest, fruit exports from the Kashmir valley more than doubled to 3 lakh tonnes in April-September from 1.24 lakh tonnes in the same period last year. A substantial swell in fruit exports from the valley was witnessed in September with 22,117 truckloads, carrying 2.49 lakh tonnes of fresh and dry fruit, crossed Lower Munda Toll Post along Srinagar-Jammu national highway in the month, an official spokesman said. "Last year only 66,259 tonnes of fruit in 7291 truckloads went out of the Valley in September," the spokesman said. Giving details of fresh and dry fruit exports, the spokesman said 2,96,789 tonnes of fresh fruit have been dispatched out of the valley during April-September 2016, against 1,22,987 tonnes moving out of the valley last year. Dry fruit exports were 3,577 tonnes in April-September this year against 2003 tonnes in the year ago period. In September, 2,48,571 tonnes of fresh fruit and 1,425 tonnes of dry fruit were dispatched from the valley. He said in 2015 only 65,734 tonnes of fresh fruit had moved outside the Valley in September while the volume of dry fruit exports was 525 tonnes. The horticulture sector contributes around Rs 5000 crore to the state economy annually and it is the core sector of agriculture economy with about 4.5 lakh families engaged in it. Around 20 per cent area of the state is under horticultural crops.
Among the horticultural crops in the state apple occupies the predominant position constituting around 45 per cent of the total area under fruit crops.
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