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Fruit Growers Express Concern as Erratic Weather Threatens Livelihoods

April 30, 2024
A local worker packing apples.

SRINAGAR: Fruit growers in Kashmir are much worried due to the erratic weather conditions for the last few weeks now.

Growers from various parts of Kashmir said that the livelihood of around 60 percent of the population who are directly dependent on the horticulture sector is under threat as erratic weather conditions will trigger diseases in their orchards.

Muhammad Yousuf, a fruit grower from Shopian, said that erratic weather conditions will lead to different diseases in orchards and impact the quality of the fruit as well.

These rainy weather conditions are also impacting the leaves of fruit trees which in turn is impacting their produce.

Sameer Ahmad, another grower, said that last year due to the same weather conditions, there was a very low fruit set due to which growers suffered losses.

“This sector gets affected by one or the other factors almost every year be it hailstorms, erratic weather conditions, road issues, low demand and many other things,” he said.

Growers said that the horticulture sector is under threat due to climate change for the last several years.

They said that despite following the spray schedule in letter and spirit, new diseases are coming to the fore every year due to which farmers are very much worried. “Every year we have to fight new challenges and there is a need to implement a crop insurance scheme,” they said.

Bashir Ahmad Basheer, Chairman of Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers and Dealers Union told that last year due to similar weather conditions, fruit produce was less by around 30 percent while a major portion of the produce was c grade.

The government must implement crop insurance schemes so that growers won’t suffer every year. He said they have met higher officials regarding this issue and have got assurance about the implementation of the scheme.

“We are hopeful that positive things will be taken in this regard,” Bashir said—(KNO)

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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