Kashmir farmers expect bumper cherry production in 2010

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Srinagar, May 15 (ANI): Cherry growers of Kashmir are expecting a bumper crop this year following timely rains and snowfall.

The state horticulture department is expecting a considerable growth in production in comparison to last year's 10885 metric tons. The cherry production continues from May-June till July 15.

"The horticulture department spreads awareness amongst cherry growers. We interact with them and try to increase the area under cherry production and ask them to plant more trees," said Gulam Nabi Dar, a horticulture officer.

Kashmiri cherries are always in high demand and enjoy a virtual monopoly, as the fruits from the state are preferred across the country for their taste and quality.

"This year the production is much higher and we expect greater dividends. The reason is that the horticulture department always tells us what to do and what not to do. Their people come visit us and tell us about new pesticides and new technology. And we follow their advices," said Mehraj-u-din, a cherry grower.

Harwan, Dara, Kangan, Nilshad, Tanmarg and Sopiyan are the regions of Kashmir where extensive cherry cultivation is witnessed.

Cherry requires a conducive climatic condition for proper blooming and fruition. The temperature should be perfect for better crop.

It should have a maximum temperature of about 30- 35-degree Celsius and above 25 degree Celsius Horticulture production of fruits like apples and cherries are the primary economic activity of the Himalayan State.

The horticulture sector is a major contributor to the economy of Jammu and Kashmir. Besides cherries, other fruits such as apples, pears, walnuts and almonds are the major commercial crops of the State. (ANI)

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