CPI (M) leader and MLA Kulgam Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami today expressed serious concern over the outbreak of alternaria disease in apple crops in Kashmir and asked the Horticulture department to gear up its resources to control it.
Freaky weather coupled with intermittent downpour has badly affected the horticulture in Kashmir and especially in southern parts of the Valley. The outbreak of diseases like scab, alternaria in apple crops has hugely affected the apple production. The growers, who have taken loans from various banks, are now facing upheaval task as the production has dwindled with threat of outbreak of diseases.
The Horticulture Department should take immediate note of the situation and depute expert teams to the affected areas so that the disease could be controlled. Till now the response of the Department has been poor due to which the orchardists are in panic. Apple crop is mainstay of Horticulture sector and thousands and thousands of families are dependent on it.
If the Horticulture Department fails to rise to the occasion, there is every likelihood that the production of apple will be badly hit. Keeping in view the prevalent weather conditions, the Agriculture University authorities must advise the growers how to save their apple and other fruit crops.
Calling for a comprehensive compensation for the growers and orchardists who suffered extensive damages due to the outbreak of this disease, he urged the state government to provide much needed succor to the ailing horticulture sector and disburse financial relief to the affected families without any further delay.