Scant rainfall affects apple crop in Shimla

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Shimla, July 21 (ANI): Apple growers in Shimla are a worried lot as scant rainfall has hit apple yield.

"No use of the rains as majority of our crop has ruined. We will not be able to fill even 100 boxes," said Sardar Saktesh, an apple grower.

Experts in the state horticulture department believe that cultivation in Kinnaur and Shimla districts are among the worst hit areas.

Over 30 per cent crops at heights between 4000ft to 5500 ft were damaged due to hailstorm. The scant rainfall for apple crops in region higher than over 6000 ft from sea level spelled doom for the growers.

"There will be a huge loss this year as compared to last year. Last year, we could at least managed about 30 million apple cartons. But this year, we think ,it would be around 10 million," said Narender Menta, an apple expert.

Himachal has over two hundred thousand hectors land of fruit groves. Apple crop occupies around 48 per cent area of the state fruit groves.

Apple fruits being the important cash crop are the lifeline for the people of Shimla, Kullu, Chamba Kinnaur, Sirmour and Mandi districts of the state. By Hemant Chauhan (ANI)

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