Covid-19: Another stroke to ailing economy, vital sectors hit hard in Valley | KNO

Covid-19: Another stroke to ailing economy, vital sectors hit hard in Valley | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Srinagar, Apr 07 (KNO): The coronavirus spread is creating ripples on the economic front in Jammu and Kashmir and very vital industries are falling victims to the deadly virus including Toursim, horticulture and poultry industry. As per wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), tourism inflow was already on a significant decline since August last after scraping of article 370, however, the lockdown in view of spread of coronavirus has further impacted the already stricken sector. Due to the lockdown, the tourism department postponed all roadshows aimed to attract tourist inflow in the valley and it seems this industry will take time to recover from losses. Tulip garden which was scheduled to be thrown open on March 25, however, the spread of Covid-19 forced authorities to close it even before throwing it open, resulting in loss of over one thousand crore to already ailing tourism sector. Besides that people associated with tourism sector and handicrafts were also badly hit by the dip in tourism inflow in Kashmir. Horticulture sector, backbone of economy which was yet to come on terms after suffering huge losses after August 05 clampdown and the untimely snow fall is also becoming victim of deadly coronavirus. According to growers from different areas of Kashmir, more than 70 per cent of the Apple produce is still lying with them in cold storage as they are unable to transport their produce outside the valley due to the lockdown. "Somehow we transported some part of our produce outside the valley but there is none who purchases our apples," they said. Officials in cold storage chains told KNO that around 70 per cent of apple produce that were in cold storage chains is still here and if the lockdown continues it will lead to heavy loss. The worried growers said that if lockdown continues, our apples will rot in cold storage and they won't be able to even compensate the losses. Pertinently, the horticulture industry is the backbone of the state's economy and the minimal revenue turnover it provides is about Rs 8,000 crore and more than 33 lakh individuals are involved in the sector at various stages. The poultry industry has been hit hard by the outbreak of Covid-19 as the sales have dipped by 80 percent and prices of poultry products have fallen leading to the financial loss in crores to the people associated with this industry. "The situation is so grave that we aren't able to fetch Rs 50 per chicken which were normally selling at Rs 150," they said, adding their birds are dying due to starvation as they don't have feed available for them. "We were getting feed from outside valley but due to lockdown we are unable to bring it due to which our birds have perished because of starvation," they said, adding the loss is so heavy that if government won't come for their rescue they won't be able to restart their business. Furthermore, the vegetable farmers from different areas of Jammu and Kashmir said that they were in huge loss as the vegetable produce gets spoiled as no body purchase it because of the lockdown. They said that either the government must make arrangements for them so that they can sell their produce or authorities must provide them some relief so that they can survive. Furthermore, Covid-19 has hit hard the daily wagers and labourers who don't have any source of income—(KNO)