Post Covid Pandemic Kashmiris Keep 'Date With Dates'

KO Photo By Abid Bhat

Srinagar- After Covid pandemic affected the sale of dates for two consecutive years, this Ramazan, Kashmiris are keeping a date with almost 80 varieties of dates including those imported from Medina and Iran.

This Ramazan, dealers selling various dates, recommend a special date variety, Mabroom-to people having diabetes.  The other varieties are Medjool, Ajwa, Qalmi etc. Iranian dates are known as Mazafati dates that cost Rs 750 for a five-kg box.

As per the dealers in Srinagar, the costliest date variety is Medjool which is being sold at the rate of Rs 1300. “This variety comes from Jordan,” said Adil Ahmed, a dealer, who sells dates in the Maisuma area of Srinagar.

He said that Ajwa dates are good for health which cost Rs 1200 per kilogram.

As the dealers dealing with dates have suffered losses due to the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, many of them have started home-delivery for the customers. “We will be delivering dates of any variety at the door steps of our customers who come within the six kilometer radius of the city. This is free of cost delivery. If the distance is more than six kilometers’, we will charge Rs 50 per kilometer,” said Minam Saqib, who sells dates at the busy Mahraja Bazar area of Srinagar.

He said people of Kashmir prefer Ajwa dates for breaking the fast and many others also like Mabroom and other varieties. “Mabroom is good for people having diabetes. Majority of dates come from Saudi Arabia. This year, we have some Iranian date varieties too. Besides, we also have dates from Jordan,” he said.

Adil Bashir, who breaks fast with dates, said he bought Ajwa and Mabroom varieties of dates for himself and his family. “I have a diabetic patient at my home. After coming to know that Mabroom variety suits people with diabetes I decided to buy it,” he said, adding that since this variety comes from the holy city of Medina, “let’s hope it helps in reducing the sugar levels of my family members.”

Many sellers, however, complained that demand for dates is not that high but it seems to be picking up gradually. “People inquire about the various varieties of dates before buying. This year, we have a large number of varieties as far as dates are concerned. All dates are highly nutritious and keep the person who consumes them energetic throughout the day,” said Ghulam Muhammad, another shopkeeper at Mahraja Bazar. (KNO)

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