Apple cultivation on encroached forest land

Dry winter spell to hit apple production this year: Kullu FGA

SHIMLA-   The continuous dry spell during the winter has left fruit growers of the Kullu valley worried.

Orchardists said snowfall in December and January was a boon for apple. They said the minimum chilling period required for apple plants started from 800 hours to 1,600 hours.

They added that while the valley received snow during December, the required chilling hours might not be achieved due to dry spell in January.

Mahender Upadhyaya, president of the Kullu Fruit Growers Association, stated that the apple crop was sensitive to snowfall and the low temperature, which was the key factor for the better harvest.He added that the continuous dry spell might affect the apple production this year.

The apple crop was the only source of income for 25 per cent of farmers of this district, while it contributed to 70 per cent of income for 50 per cent orchardists and for the remaining 25 per cent, it is about 30 per cent of the income source,he said.

Nakul Khullar, a local apple grower, said temperature below 7°Celsius was required for up to 1,600 hours during the winter and the dry spell might hinder the minimum required hours.

Another leading farmer Ram Chand said the prevailing weather conditions would have adverse effect on the apple crop. Chaman, an orchardist, stated that the required moisture for the apple trees was not available and this would have adverse impact on the apple produce of the entire valley.

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