Handwara, Jul 19: Orchardists in dozens of villages in north Kashmir’s Handwara have expressed their anguish over the outbreak of diseases especially Scab and Alternaria in apple plants in the aftermath of recent rains.
A delegation of fruit growers said that in the aftermath of recent rains, the diseases have plagued the yield at many villages viz. Qalamabad, Mawer,Shahnagri, Shirhama, Drungsoo, Audoora, Lachie, Shanoo, Kutleri, Haril, Shiekhpora, Jahama, Batgund, Hangah and its adjacent villages. “If no immediate measure is taken, it may result in loss in crores for them”, they said.
“The untimely rains although damaged a major chunk, but there still is yield on the plants which if saved from the diseases can fetch the fruit growers at least their livelihood.”
“We have over the past week seen the yield damaged with diseases and accordingly informed the Horticulture Department about it”, they said adding however despite repeated representations the department concerned is ‘yet to budge’.
“We humbly ask them to take the issue into due consideration to save us from further loss”, they said.
When contacted, HOD Horticulture Department Kupwara, Ashiq Hussain, said that the teams are already on move 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 has issued an advisory mentioning therein the necessary measures to avoid the damage of yield of apple. “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”, reads the advisory.
The Department has in the meantime given detailed instructions to the apple growers, which include; Ensure orchard sanitation through 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. gns