Snow damages 5 to 10% apple orchards in Baramulla: Officials

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BARAMULLA: The early and unprecedented snowfall from Friday night to Saturday in Kashmir valley not only damaged standing fruits and vegetables, it also damaged apple orchards in many areas of north Kashmir resulting in huge losses to apple orchardists.
Tanveer Ahmad Sheikh of Thandkasi village of Chandosa, Baramulla lost about 100 apple trees due to the snowfall. He said that he planted over one hundred plants some ten years back in a piece of land outside the village and was expecting prosperity, however, “the snowfall shattered my dream damaging almost my entire orchard”. He urged the government should compensate all the growers who lost their fruits and trees due to the snowfall.
The farmers in areas like Tangmarg, Rafiabad, Uri and other areas also claimed to have lost fruits equivalent to thousands of apple boxes, and trees due to the ‘snow overweight’.
Sources from Kreeri area of the district said that two particular growers from Wagooba village lost as many fruits equivalent to approximately 10 thousand apple boxes which were still on the trees. They said that a team of horticulture officials was collecting details and would forward its report to higher officials.
Chief Hoticulture Officer, Baramulla Farooq Ahmad Tantray said that he along with Joint Director Horticulture were in Chandosa area and were trying to collect the details of the loss of fruits and trees. “Soon after government ordered us to assess the loss to horticulture sector, I along with Joint Director Horticulture, Kashmir are on the way to Chandosa area of Baramulla from where we received information of loss to most of the orchards,” adding, that other officials including all block horticulture officers were collecting details from each block from Sunday, “and as per our assessment about 5 to10 percent trees were partially damaged, however we cannot say how much has been lost,” he said.
He further added that growers who had dumped their fruits in stores, houses or in sheds have not lost anything “but those whose fruits were still on the trees may have been lost, because such fruits may have been injured due to the heavy rains and snow”.
“Most of the growers or other traders lost ‘Maharaji’ apple which was still on trees,” Farooq said, adding that they were collecting the details and would forward those to the government within next two three days.
As per an official statement from Fruit Mandi Sopore, 50 to 60 percent farmers/growers who had shifted their fruits to the mandi are safe.

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