Fierce hailstorm damages apple crop in Shimla

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Shimla, July 30 (ANI): Himachal Pradesh farmers are a worried lot, as a hailstorm that ripped across the State devastated the famous apple crop.

The farmers, who were expecting a good crop this year, are now suffering heavy losses as almost 80 percent of the apple crop has been damaged.

"The productivity of the apple crop was good this year, but more than half of the produce is damaged because of the hailstorm. The fruit is now falling before it has ripened. Moreover there is inflation, " said Gauridutt Sharma, a farmer.

"This is the only crop here in Shimla and we are unable to make our ends meet, and it is in front of you how many apples are damaged," he added.

Himachal Pradesh has witnessed several hailstorms at present, which resulted in a loss of over Rs. five billion.

"Our economy is basically on apple and we have almost 80 percent fruit, which is grown here in the State. Eighty percent of crop is on apple and whenever there is hailstorm it damages our crop," said Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Minister Narender Bragta.

The fallen unripe apples do not fetch much in the market due to which the farmers have to suffer losses.

The Horticulture Department is now compiling and sending the crop damage report to the Central Government to get compensation for the apple farmers. (ANI)

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