Apple crop affected due to adverse weather conditions in Himachal Pradesh

May 23rd, 2009 - 7:23 pm ICT by ANI  

By Prem Thakur

Kullu (HP), May 23 (ANI): The apple crop in Kullu has been affected due to lack of adequate snowfall and rains in Kullu in Himachal Pradesh.

A good crop of apples requires an average of 1200-1600 ‘chilling hours’, adequate snowfall and rainfall, and suitable temperature at the time of flowering, which this year were unfavourable.
To add to the woes of the apple growers there was heavy snowfall on the higher mountain reaches leading to a drop in temperatures affecting flowering of the trees.

There was also fluctuation at the time of pollination as the pollinizers (variety of trees used to enhance pollination) flowered before the other varieties of apples affecting the pollination.

“The crop is expected to be less this time as their was no snowfall during winters hence the chilling requirement for apple trees was not met,” said Suresh Sharma, orchardist.

The production of apples is expected to fall by as much as 40 percent as per the horticulture department.

“The production of apples would be less this year. Normally the production is about 140,000 metric tonnes but the weather this time was not favourable. We are expecting nearly a 40 percent fall in apple production,” said Naresh Sharma, Deputy Director, Horticulture Department, and Himachal Pradesh.Crop production has not been very good in the years as well.

Almost 92000 hectares of land in the state is under apple production.80 per cent of the people in the state are directly or indirectly associated with this business.A fall in production is bound to affect the livelihood of all these people associated with either growing or trading of apples. (ANI)

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