Valley fruit industry incurs Rs 300 cr losses
Srinagar, June 27: The persistent rains and dip in temperature during past three months here have badly hit the Valley fruit industry, with growers and experts pegging the cumulative losses to the sector at 300 crore.
“Not only non-stop rains, but cold temperatures have also damaged the fruits this season. With the result, the Valley fruit industry has suffered a loss of about Rs 300 crore,” said Bashir Ahmad Bashir, president New Kashmir Fruit Association, Parimpora.
He said each season six to seven crore fruit boxes were produced in the Valley, of which at least 25 per cent had got damaged due to rains and cold.
“Regarding rest of the fruits that have survived the harsh weather, their quality is highly degraded and most of them have lost all their taste,” he said.
According to the fruit growers, the fruit production this year was, otherwise, “beyond our expectations.” “This year we have had bumper fruit in Kashmir, but then rains played a spoilsport,” said Haji Bashir Ahmad Baig, a fruit grower and former president Sopur Fruit Association
The fruits that are said to be highly damaged include apple, apricot, cherry, plum and Bagoo Gosha (a variety of pear)—“the main fruits over here.”
As per the growers, incessant and untimely rains have laid a number of ill-effects on the fruits. “Such rains can cause a disease called Scab in fruits. Then these untimely rains not only damage the crop but also do not let the fruits ripe and grow to their required size,” said Bashir.
“Fruit trees do not require much water but only a particular quantity. So due to incessant rains, their roots got damaged that in-turn damaged the fruits, which then started to fall,” added Baig.
“Then at many a place hail storm took place that made holes in fruits thus destroying them. Many places like Budgam, Kulgam, Shopian, Handwara, Kupwara, Varmul, etc, received untimely snowfall, which again damaged the fruits. Besides, snowfall at mountains lead to increase in cold, which is harmful to fruits,” he said.
The fruit growers said currently hot climate was a must for fruits for repining process that required a proper temperature, “which, however, is not available at present.”
They said they had time and again appealed to the government to provide them compensation for the losses, but to no avail. “The government should come forward with some financial relief for the growers, who have incurred huge losses due to rain and snow,” said Baig, adding that they should also be provided subsidy on fertilizers and tree spray oil, “which we have been demanding for quite long now.”
Lastupdate on : Sun, 27 Jun 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 27 Jun 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 28 Jun 2010 00:00:00 IST
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