Ignoring expert advice to adopt safety measures during the ongoing walnut harvesting season is proving fatal. In absence of the safety measures, many fall from walnut trees.
These mishaps lead to serious injuries, and sometimes deaths also. These deaths and injuries need to be prevented. In past there was no such expert advice available.
The mishaps kept on occurring frequently. A number of persons lost their lives, and those who survived had a tough time due to serious injuries. But now when the expert advice is very much available, hardly any attention is paid towards it. Very few people seem taking the expert opinion seriously, while the vast majority of farmers, dealing with walnut production, do not bother.
They continue to use the crude traditional methods. This thinking has to be changed. Farmers must learn lessons from the deaths and injuries due to fall from trees. What is the harm in using safety measures? These measures save lives.
The officials of horticulture department must also intervene. It is their responsibility to educate farmers to stop the crude traditional methods now, and switch over to new scientific methods. If persuaded effectively, the shift to scientific methods will happen.
What is wrong if only experienced and trained persons climb walnut trees during harvest, use a helmet, and tie a safety harness rope, properly anchored? Use of a sturdy and durable thick rope, and tall ladders to climb the trees have been also advised besides wearing non-slip boots.
Checking of the weather forecast before planning for the harvest is also important. If the safety measures are not used and people continue to die or get injured due to the fall in coming times others will show reluctance to climb a tree for harvesting.
This can negatively affect the walnut production. Much before the introduction of apple growing and production, it was walnut production that was given importance by farmers in Kashmir.
But apple production changed the economic scene for better, and became very popular among the farmers. Paddy fields were converted into apple orchards on a large scale.
However, the walnut production also continued, though in a limited way. If the walnut production is to be kept going in future also, adopting safety measures to stop deaths and injuries is imperative.