Low temperatures threaten fruit production in Kashmir

ALTAF BABA

Baramulla, May 23: With temperatures failing to improve even after the beginning of the summer, the apple production this year in north Kashmir is likely to be affected badly.
 According to the fruit growers, the low temperatures are not allowing the apples to germinate fully. “Instead of hooking firmly to the tress, the apple crop has started to fall down from the trees,” they said.
 "Usually, the average temperatures around this time should have been between 24 to 28 degree Celsius. But they remain just in the range of 15 to 20 degree Celsius which has weakened the crop and made it to lose the grip over tree," said Khurshid Ahmad of Chatoosa.
 With temperatures showing no signs to improve, “there are less chances of a good fruit crop this season,” the growers said, adding that they are apprehending huge losses.
 Some growers fear huge contraction in the fruit production. "If the temperatures continue to be low, the production is bound to suffer. There could be as steep as 50 per cent drop in the production as compared to the last year," said Ajaz Ahmmad Mir of Achabal Rafiabad.
 President, Fruit Growers’ Association Sopore, Fayaz Ahmad Malik said the low temperature is likely to inflict losses worth crores of rupees on the growers and fruit dealers.
 "Last season from Sopore fruit mandi alone, around 20 million fruit boxes were sent to different markets in India. However, the situation this season seems totally grim as production is likely to slip by 50 per cent" Malik said.
 The hailstorm too has added woes to the fruit growers in north Kashmir. In Kupwara, Rafiabad, Hajibal and Tangmarg areas of the north Kashmir, the hail storm has inflicted extensive damage to the fruit crop.
 According to the growers from these areas, the losses are worth crores of rupees.
 "The hailstorm in most of our areas has struck at a time when flowers were starting to bloom. We have lost hope this season. We don't know how to feed our families.  First it was hailstorm which has broken our back and whatever the crop is left now is affected by low temperatures" rued Haji Abdul Aziz of Rafiabad.
 Meanwhile, experts said the fruit production in the entire Kashmir Valley can suffer, if the temperatures continue to remain low.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 23 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 23 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 24 May 2012 00:00:00 IST




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