Apple growers expect bumper crop in Kullu

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Kullu, Apr 9 (ANI); Apple-growers in Himachal Pradesh are expecting a bumper crop this season, as there is full flowering already in the Kullu valley.

Though rising temperature is a big concern, light showers in the higher hills of the valley during flowering have lowered the temperatures, which has ultimately helped in the fruit setting.

"This time, especially in apples, a good crop can be seen. In the apple-growing areas, that is, mainly the northern region of the valley, a good crop yield is expected. Through this medium, however, I would like to inform the orchard-owners that though the fruit setting has been good, but now the cultivators need to protect and prevent the crop from damage," said Shakti Swarup Bhardwaj, Associate Director of Research Centre, Yashwant Singh Parmar Horticulture University, Himachal Pradesh.

Bhardwaj added that due to dry atmosphere the fruits may fall off early and thus the soil needs to be kept moist so that the apples can be preserved.

The apple-growers are busy protecting the apple trees by regularly spraying insecticides and fungicides. But the fear of draught is looming large as the temperatures continue to rise.

"The fruit setting has been very good this year. Nowadays we are spraying the trees with insecticides and fungicides to save the crop from damage. But in comparison to last year, the crop yield this season is expected to be very good. However, we fear that drought in the coming months might ruin the crop as rains will be less. We have left it in the hands of the gods," said Hukum Chand, an apple-grower.

Almost 100,000 hectares of land in the hilly state, including districts of Shimla, Kullu, Kinnaur, Mandi and Chamba, are under apple production. (ANI)

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