By: Raja Syed Rather
Ganderbal: Apple growers in district Ganderbal are elated with satisfactory market value of the crop but are disappointed with the low produce.
The apple harvesting season is in full swing in district Ganderbal and other parts of the valley, as the growers are busy in packing of apples at Zazna fruit mandi from where they sell the fruit to various markets within and outside the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Much to the dismay of these growers, the world-famous Kashmiri apples and one of the mainstays of their economy have witnessed decline in produce since last three years.
Though, satisfied with the good market for the crop this year, these growers are disappointed with low produce which according to them is because of costly spurious pesticides which failed to save their production from scab, mite, leaf infection, and other diseases.
The apple growers alleged that despite the complaints filed against these pesticide dealers to the concerned authorities no heed was paid to regulate this trade.
Ali Mohammad, a local resident of Wakura said that the Horticulture department is not doing enough to help the growers.
“Large quantity of C grade stuff is lying in Apple orchards. Even medicines are fake. Weather is not good for the last three years and the condition here was not favorable,” he said, adding that the government is yet to provide them the subsidy on buying instruments and tractors.
Abdul Hamid Bhat, Chief Horticulture Officer Ganderbal said that they have taken the samples to test the quality of the fruit.
“Some reports that have come and are fine. Sampling is done in the rest of the districts as well,” he said (KNO)