Kashmir’s fruit industry has suffered a major loss of over Rs 500 crore because of Saturday’s untimely snowfall. In a statement, the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) highlighted the damage caused to apple orchards and trees.
The KCCI is now seeking the adoption of ‘Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme’ (RWBCIS).
Speaking to the Policy Times, the KCCI president, Sheikh Aashiq Ahmad said “the insurance scheme had been implemented in Jammu but not in Kashmir. The officials claim to have floated tenders for the insurance providers but there is no doubt that the Kashmir fruit growers are suffering because of failure on part of the state government.”
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“If the crop insurance had been there, the growers would have been secure. We have raised this issue with the Governor and are looking forward to him addressing our concerns” Mr. Ahmad added.
Mr. Ahmad said that the real assessment in regards to the damages incurred by the heavy snowfall would be out in a couple of days.
Meanwhile, the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology (SKUAST) has issued an advisory for the orchards affected by the untimely snowfall.
The advisory asks fruit growers to drain out excess water from the orchards by making drainage channels. If the fruit trees have tilted, reduce the canopy load by pruning and provide proper support to the plants. It states to clear the snow off heaped harvested fruits and to store the fruits in sheds to prevent frost injury.
The heavy snowfall has destroyed apple trees, slashed branches off trees and even uprooted trees.