Srinagar: Even as the coronavirus scare has hit every aspect of life, the horticulture department has suggested farmers to go ahead with the pesticide spraying schedule to prevent fruit trees from disease.
The department, however, has appealed people to wear protective gears including masks, gloves, waterproof jackets, goggles while spraying the pesticides in the orchards.
“Any delay in spraying will cause scab on the orchards. People this time need to ensure their safety by covering the entire body while working in the orchard,” said Deputy Director Horticulture department, Javed Ahmad Bhat.
Given the coronavirus scare, growers were unable to decide whether to go ahead with a spraying schedule or not. Growers were waiting for the advisory from the department of horticulture.
“Normally, few people are required to complete this process. Since social gathering has to be avoided, only two to three men should undertake the spraying process while maintaining a distance,” he said.
Bhat said the growers should follow health department protocols even after completing the spraying of pesticides. “They should wash hands and the clothes used during spraying,” he said.
The deputy director said the department will also come up with dos and don’ts to avoid infection during spraying. “We couldn’t reach the office due to the lockdown. I am sure we will come up with guidelines for farmers,” he said.
The government has also deputed staff in rural areas to guide the growers about the precautions to be taken during farming. In various areas of north Kashmir, vehicles equipped with loudspeakers announced farmers to be cautious during spraying.
An official at Chief Horticulture Office of district Baramulla said they have been constantly in touch with growers to address their issues on phone calls. “We have been helping farmers on phone these days. We are suggesting to the various measures that can protect the orchard as well as their health,” he said.