Apple crop hit hard by adverse weather in Uttarakhand

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Uttarakhand, July 15 (ANI): Adverse weather conditions have hit hard the apple crop in Ramgarh in Uttarakhand.

The crop has been widely affected by the lack of rainfall and hailstorms during the time of flowering. Farmers believe that there is at least 75 per cent decrease in the crop.

The packing godown's that used to be bustling with energy this time of the year bear a forlorn look.

On an average 10 to 12 trucks of apples were sent from the area every day. But this year, it is only once or twice a week that a smaller vehicle ferries the packed apples.

The fall in apple production is believed to have a heavy impact on the economy of the state. Farmers are distressed as it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to survive.

"The crop is destroyed because of the adverse weather conditions. The weather was not at all suitable for the crop. This time of the year, the season used to be in full flow. But this year, we are all sitting idle," Puran Chand Bhatt, an apple grower.

Experts, however, believed that it is not just the weather that is to blame, even the government is not doing enough towards developing fruit cultivation in the state.

"Economic welfare in hilly areas is dependent on fruit crops and vegetables. They are essential for the economic growth of the people. There is a need to do some concrete work in this area. Though the government is doing some work, but it is not adequate. More efforts need to be made," said Vikram Singh, an expert.

Agriculture is the mainstay of India's economy, with more than half the population relying on the sector for livelihood.

Irregular rainfall, frost, pest infestation, floods caused crops damage worth thousands of rupees every year.

Besides apples, other fruits like pears, peaches, mango, guava, papaya and litchi are the major commercial crops of Uttarakhand. By Vipul Goel (ANI)

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