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Weather advisory a concern for apple growers in Kashmir


SRINAGAR: The weather advisory ahead of the commencement of the harshest winter period in Kashmir has brought unease and worry among the fruit growers of the valley.

Growers said that around 50 per cent of the Apple has not been harvested mainly in the southern belt.

The Apple industry in Kashmir is one of the premier sources of the economy to the people in both north and southern districts of the valley which are harvested and exported to different states of India and abroad as well while the bulk exportation is done during October up to mid-November.

The worried growers of Kashmir valley said that they are in a complete state of dismay and worry given the weather advisory issued about the heavy to moderate snowfall which can even cause damage to orchards in the valley.

“The major portion of the production has not been harvested by far and it can take some weeks of the approaching month as well,” they said.

The growers said that they were having a good season of production and rate but this weather advisory has sent a wave of shock among all and left everyone at unease and discomfort believing that the amount of unharvested production may suffer damage.

“The advisory says not only the production but the volume of expected snow can even damage the orchards (trees) which are adding more to the worries of growers”, they said .

Shafiq Ahmad, a grower in Sopore, said that the northern belt usually witnesses a heavy volume of snowfall and even roads get blocked. “This advisory has impacted us mentally since everyone has to get things done in a matter of hours only which is an uphill task,” Shafiq said.

He said that some of the growers even buy stock from the farthest areas of north Kashmir and is also a cause of worry since it has to be transported well in time before it gets damaged and lined up.

Ali Mohammad, a grower from south Kashmir, while expressing worry about the production said that the major portion of the Apples have not been harvested by far and the worries of growers have mounted given the weather advisory.

“Some growers in a hurry from the last two days have started harvesting even during the night hours and everyone is praying that this prediction turns untrue and the production along with the trees remain safe and secure,” he said.

Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Association, President Bashir Ahmad said that around 50 per cent of the Apple production has not been harvested in Kashmir valley and mainly in the southern belt. He said that around 80 per cent of the production of Apples has been harvested in north Kashmir while half of the production is still on trees in the farthest areas of the northern belt which is a worry.

“In the southern belt of Kashmir around 50 per cent of the Apple, production has not been harvested by the growers and it’s a state of worry from all of them and it cannot be done in just a matter of minutes or hours only,” Bashir said. “The season so far has been good but even if growers suffer 10 percent loss all the hard work put in throughout the year will be just a waste.”

He also said that the harvesting will continue at least up to November 20 of the ensuing year and they hope that the weather responds well since the season started very late—(KNO)


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