Strawberry cultivation is picking up in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, providing ample employment opportunities and an alternative source of income. Both the federal government and the J&K government are providing loans coupled with technical advice to young farmers to attract them towards the business.
In recent years, strawberry has emerged as a cash crop in the Kashmir Valley, with many vegetable farmers switching to strawberry cultivation. Farmers like those in Gassu Batpora village - on the outskirts of Srinagar city - are happy with the bumper crop of strawberries. Gassu is famously known as the 'Strawberry Village', where farmers cultivate tons of exotic berries on hundreds of acres of land every year.
Farmers said that due to climate, the profits from planting traditional crops such as wheat, paddy, and the like are decreasing. Crops have been getting damaged due to unseasonal rains for the past few years. Secondly, the cost of planting these crops has also increased, and more laborers are needed for these crops.