Incessant Rains: Experts issue advisory to orchardists for avoiding losses

File Photo: Aman Farooq/ GK

With Kashmir witnessing incessant rains besides some district recording snowfall, experts Thursday issued advisory for the orchardist community for taking precautionary measures to avoid any loss to the orchards.

The advisory issued by the Directorate of Horticulture said that consequent upon the recent incessant rains in Kashmir, besides light snowfall recorded in some parts of Ganderbal, Budgam and Shopian districts in the upper reaches, the orchardist community has been advised to adhere to the advisory.

As per the advisory, the orchardists have been asked to ensure proper drainage to the orchards to avoid water-lodging.

“With the recovery in weather situation, conduct necessary spray with the recommended fungicide as per the advisory issued by the Department of Horticulture through print and electronic media,” it reads.

“Do not keep a gap of over nine to 10 days between the two consecutive sprays and make use of low-volume spray guns or mist-blowers for improving the efficacy of fungicides, particularly at bloom and near post bloom.”

The advisory said that stickers, as recommended, should be admixed with the requisite fungicide except dodine.

“In case the fruit growers have sprayed in their orchards which followed rains under inclement weather, the spray should be repeated in such cases as well,” it reads.

The Horticulture sector plays an important role in J&K and contributes significantly to J&K’s economy and is a source of livelihood for a population of 33 lakh.

As per the official data, about seven lakh families are directly or indirectly involved and dependent on the horticulture sector.

J&K State has been declared as ‘Agri Export Zone’ for apples and walnut.

Horticulture sector also provides jobs to other related trades such as fertiliser, pesticide and agriculture machinery traders and processing of fruits.

“Horticulture is one of the thrust areas and a number of programmes are being implemented, resulting in generating higher incomes in rural areas, thereby improving the quality of life in villages,” said an official.

Emphasizing orchardists to follow the advisory, he said that a variety of horticultural products of J&K have earned world-wide fame because of its good quality and taste.