Hailstorm damages apple crop in Kulgam villages

Image for representational purpose only.
Image for representational purpose only.Source: Wikimedia/ Ibex73

Kulgam, May 1: Over half a dozen villages including Mandobal, Manzgam, Korel, Rewatan, Wattoo and Tangamarg witnessed a strong hailstorm on Monday  causing extensive damage to apple crop.

Many distraught farmers told Greater Kashmir that the hailstones caused a significant damages to the apple crop, which was in the  petal fall stage. A farmer from Mandobal village said that the hailstorm lasted for around 10 -15 minutes wreaking havoc with the apple orchards.

"The pellets carpeted the entire area and caused a huge damage to our farms", he said. He said that the crop in the area was in late flowering stage and was  setting.

The apple farmers had already been grappling with the losses over the past several years due to the early snowfall, perennial closure of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and a glut in  production.

The hailstorm has only compounded the woes of the apple growers. "Last season, we sold our produce at dirt cheap rates. Now, this year we were hoping to make up the loss but the hailstorm has dashed all our expectations", said Mohammad  Shafi, a farmer from Tangmarg  area.

Rouf Ahamd Lone, Tehsidar DH Pora said that the hailstorm had caused a significant damage to the horticulture crop in the area.

He said that the Department of Horticulture had begun assessing  the loss. He, however, added that the damge was mostly caused in Mandobal area.

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