Expressing serious concern over the leaf fall in orchards reported in some areas in Kashmir, Horticulture Minister, Abdul Rehman Veeri today directed for carrying out a survey to ascertain the cause.
Speaking at a high level meeting here today, the Minister directed the officers and field functionaries of the department to carry out the survey and ascertain the cause of premature fall of the leaves of the fruit trees which affects the fruit production.
The meeting was convened by the Minister to take stock of the situation obtaining in the backdrop of sudden leaf fall reported from many areas of the Valley.
The Horticulture Minister directed the CHOs to submit a report of the cause of disease to the higher ups within a week's time for taking preventive measures to stop further fruit losses.
He instructed the experts to prescribe relevant pesticides and fungicides for spray to control the disease and avoid further loss to the fruit especially the apple.
He also directed for giving wide publicity to dos and don'ts for awareness of the fruit growers.
Veeri called for crackdown against unscrupulous traders indulging in sale and stocking of substandard pesticides and fungicides in various parts of the State.
He said the horticulture is the backbone of state economy and about 30 lakh people are directly or indirectly associated with this industry, adding that nobody will be allowed to play with their livelihood.
The Minister said that all the field agencies of the department, in particular law enforcement wing, have been given strict instructions to raid any establishment found dealing in sub-standard pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers.
He said he will personally monitor the manufacturing and inflow of various kinds of pesticides in the Valley and where ever the sale of substandard pesticides is detected stern action will follow not only against the concerned dealers but also the concerned officials of the area.
He said the action will include imprisonment and cancellation of the dealership license. Veeri also sought cooperation of the fruit growers and traders as well as general public to check the menace of substandard pesticides and said immediate intimation should be given to the Director Horticulture and concerned District Horticulture officers about it so that immediate action is initiated against the culprits.