Damaged Apple crop due to hailstorm

Damaged Apple crop due to hailstorm
Heavy rain and a massive hailstorm wreaked havoc in many villages of Budgam here in central Kashmir on Wednesday night. Reports of damage to vegetable crops and orchards of cherry, apricot, walnut and apple were received from areas of Charar-e-Sharief, Chadoora and other parts of the district.

Orchardists told Kashmir Reader that the massive overnight hailstorm caused damage to vegetable crops and fruit trees. "This year we expected a good crop as our orchards seemed to be abundant in apples, apricot, cherries and walnuts, but the hailstorm has dashed our hopes," said Bashir Ahmad Dar, a farmer in Charar-e-Sharief.

Residents of scores of villages told Kashmir Reader that orchards spread over thousands of kanals in Zaloosa, Nowhad, Cherwani, Dalwan, Tilsara, Rakhai, Hayatpora, Lolipora, Batpora, and Futlipora villages suffered massive damage.

"We had expected a bumper crop this year," they rued.

Farmers and orchardists in the affected areas have appealed to the authorities to compensate them for the losses.

Director Agriculture, Kashmir, Altaf Aijaz Andrabi said in a formal order on Wednesday, "Kashmir valley is experiencing incessant rains and in certain areas a hailstorm is also being reported. This will have an adverse effect on standing crops and will be detrimental to the economic condition of farmers. Keeping this in view, the district officers have been asked to constitute a Rapid Action Team at the sub-divisional level to assess the crop damage due to hailstorm and incessant rain. Their report shall be submitted to the concerned deputy commissioner's office on weekly basis."