Handwara: The recent untimely rainfall has plagued the Apple trees in dozens of villages across north Kashmir’s Handwara, the outbreak of apple diseases especially Scab and Alternaria is posing a threat to production.
A delegation of fruit growers said that in the aftermath of recent rains, the diseases have plagued apple trees in many villages including Qalamabad, Mawer, Shahnagri, Shirhama, Drungsoo, Audoora, Lachie, Shanoo, Kutleri, Haril, Shiekhpora, Jahama, Batgund, Hangah and its adjacent villages.
“If no immediate measures are taken, it will result in crores of loss as apple production is the backbone of Kashmir’s economy,” they said.
“We have spent a lot of money on the production and we cannot watch our hard work and investment go in vain. The government must save the remaining trees at least for our livelihood,” they added.
“For over a week, we have been informing the Horticulture Department about it but the department has yet to budge,” they said.
“We humbly ask them to take the issue into due consideration and save our crippling situation,” they said.
Meanwhile, HOD Horticulture Department Kupwara, Ashiq Hussain said that the teams are already working to reach out the orchardists and instruct them of necessary precautions to avoid damage of the yield.
“It is a big area to cover and we will be reaching the remaining areas in the shortest possible time”, the official said, adding there was nothing to worry about.
The Department said it has issued an advisory as follows: To avoid the damage of yield of apple use 12-15 days after Fruit Development-II stage spray Mancozeb 75 WP @ 300 g/100litres of water (or) Zineb 75 WP @ 300 g/100 litres of water (or) Ziram 80 WP a 200 g/100 litres of water (or) Ziram 27 SC @ 600 ml/100 litres of water (or) Chlorothalonil 75 WP @ 150g/100 litres of water.
The Department also directed growers to ensure orchard sanitation through the destruction of weeds, pruned or diseased/infected twigs by burning.
“Adopt proper central drainage system, maintain a gap of 3-4 days between insecticide and fungicide spray, avoid mixing of fungicides, insecticide and other chemicals, adjuvants/Stickers may be added for better efficacy of fungicides especially during rainy days, stickers Sandovit @ 50-75 ml/100 Titre of suspension and that same fungicide should not be repeated continuously in two sprays,” the advisory reads.