Hailstorm leaves apple growers distraught in Shopian villages

"The hailstorm knocked down the pea-sized apples and denuded trees of the leaves", Ahmad said.
Image for representational purpose only.
Image for representational purpose only.Source: Wikimedia/ Ibex73

Shopian: Hailstorm damaged the apple crop in several villages of south Kashmir's Shopian district on Saturday.

The hailstorm lashed over half a dozen villages including Kaprin, Batgund, Chek Mirazapora, Herman, Ramnagri, Shamsipoara and Sadipora resulting in heavy damage to the fruit. The distraught farmers told Greater Kashmir over the phone that hailstones caused a significant damage to the crop.

Rayees Ahmad, an apple farmer from Kaprin village said that the hailstorm lasted for 7 to 10 minutes, stripping trees of both the leaves and fruit.

"The hailstorm knocked down the pea-sized apples and denuded trees of the leaves", Ahmad said.

According to Ahmad, the hailstorm caused around 60 to 70 percent in the area. Mushtaq Ahmad, president Fruit growers and Zamindar Association appealed to the government to immediately send a team to the affected areas to asses the loss. He said that he received the reports of damage from more than seven villages.

Former president Fruit Mandi Shopian, Mohammad Ashraf said that the growers always had to bear the brunt of natural calamities. "The government must bring the apple industry under the crop insurance scheme, ” he said.

District Magistrate Shopian Faz Lul Haseeb told Greater Kashmir that the concerned authorities had been assessing the damage. The apple farmers' run of luck bad continues for the last several years. Unseasonal snowfall, protracted Covid-induced and perennial shut down of National Highway during post harvest season incurred much losses to the apple growers.

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