Snow and rains cause major damage to orchards

Srinagar, October 23: Early snowfall accompanied by heavy rains, which started late Friday evening, caused extensive damage to apple orchards in the valley, especially in many districts of southern Kashmir.

According to the fruit growers, many orchards were damaged by the snowfall, especially in the districts of Shopian, Pulwama and Kulgam in southern Kashmir.

Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Association chairman Bashir Ahmad Basheer told Rising Kashmir that nearly 40 percent of the apples produced had yet to be harvested in southern Kashmir, which received snowfall on Saturday.

“It is very unfortunate that farmers have yet to harvest 40 to 50 percent of the delicious apple variety in southern Kashmir. The snow not only destroyed the fruit crop, but also caused heavy damage to apple trees laden with fruit in South Kashmir, ”he said.

He said the snowfall has caused considerable damage to apple production, especially in southern Kashmir this year.

“We had less apple production in North Kashmir, but South Kashmir had exceptional production this year,” he informed.

Bashir said that Kashmir produces 20 metric tons of apples per year and generates more than 8,000 lakh in income for Kashmir’s economy.

“It will be too early to predict the exact losses due to snowfall,” he added.

Horticultural Director Ajaz Ahmad Bhat told Rising Kashmir that there was 10 percent damage to apple trees in three districts in southern Kashmir.

“We are assessing the situation on the ground in the districts of Shopian, Pulwama and Kulgam. So far, until this evening, apple trees are 10% damaged. The branches of many apple trees have been broken,” he said. He confirmed.

He said if the snowfall continued overnight it would cause massive damage to the apple trees here.

“We will do an investigation tomorrow and if there is huge damage, we will recommend it for a natural disaster,” he added.

After assessing the situation in South Kashmir, Bhat said the department would issue an advisory.

Shahbaz Khan, a fruit grower in the Sangerwani area of ​​Pulwama district, told Rising Kashmir that his orchard was in full bloom.

“I was happy and had a huge production of quality apples this year. But the first snowfall hit the apple trees hard. It caused discoloration of the apples while some apple trees and their branches were also damaged. . I don’t know how to fix the problem, “he said.

Khan said 70 percent of the apples were still on trees in remote areas. “Farmers who have orchards in remote areas harvest their apples late because they don’t have facilities like roads and transportation. But this snowfall paralyzed them.

Another farmer in Shopian district said he was concerned about the color of apples and destruction of apple trees caused by snow, while another farmer said apple trees had been uprooted due to the snow load. on the trees and many were broken.

He said farmers are distressed by the damage caused by the snow.


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