WhatsApp Group Join Now
Telegram Group Join Now

Watermelon Sales Remain Low in Kashmir Despite Clearance from Food Safety Department

Despite receiving clearance from the Food Safety Department, watermelon sales continue to be sluggish in Kashmir this year. Several vendors have reported that although sales have slightly improved after the clearance, they still remain significantly lower compared to last year.

The decline is attributed to claims made by a few doctors regarding the artificial ripening of watermelons, alongside adverse weather conditions. Mohammad Ramzan, a vendor, noted that even his own family members refrained from consuming watermelon after reports emerged about artificial ripening.

Reluctance among consumers persists, especially during Ramadan when watermelon consumption is traditionally high. Other fruit vendors echoed similar sentiments, citing the detrimental impact of the claims of artificial ripening on watermelon sales.

Bashir Ahmad Bashir, chairman of the Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Cum Dealers Union, highlighted that despite the department’s clearance, sales are still down by approximately 40 percent. The decline was evident following a cautionary statement by Dr. Wajahat, a clinical oncologist, who warned against consuming artificially ripened watermelons due to potential health risks, including cancer.

Dr. Wajahat’s social media post on March 08 gained traction and support from fellow doctors, leading to concerns among consumers. Subsequently, the food safety department collected hundreds of samples for testing and concluded that nothing adverse was found, reaffirming the safety of watermelons for consumption.

However, the lingering effects of the initial claims continue to impact consumers, contributing to the low sales of watermelons in Kashmir. Despite efforts to assure safety, rebuilding consumer trust remains a challenge for vendors in the region.

Back to top button