A first of its kind initiative, where a government owned apricot processing unit is providing employment to scores of youths in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kargil district. In order to boast this fruit and generate employment in the district, cooperative society of Kargil started its first apricot processing unit in which they produce apricot jam, oil and juices.
“This government owned factory is useful for the people as we make jams, oils and juices here. We brings apricots from the nearby places and then we make jams, other things out of it. It is big benefit for the students, who have left their studies,” said Rehaana Mathur, a yound employee.
“If this factory works for many more years then if would benefit a lot many people,” she added. Apricots are the main fruit trees of Kargil district and are widely grown and are highly perishable within the short summer season. Therefore, the fresh fruits need to be transported to the markets soon after the harvesting is done.
“This is a very big factory and in this factory apricots from nearby villages come here for processing and here we make jams and juices. The jams and juices that made here are exported and are world famous,” said anoth youth Nadeem Ahmad.
The primary focus of this first cooperative society unit is to provide training to the rural girls and boys in fruit processing by organizing them into self help groups to process the organically grown apricots and sea buckthorn into jams, juices and pulps. Local youth of the unit appreciated the steps taken by the government and hope more such units would come in the district, so that more employement is generated.