Srinagar May 9 UNI | 3 months ago

Expressing serious concern over the scab disease engulfing the apple orchards in south Kashmir and sub-standard pesticides present in the market, the CPI (M) has asked the state government to address the problem faced by the farmers and orchardists without any delay by ordering a general survey of the horticulture sector in the valley.

In a statement issued here today, CPI (M) senior leader Ghulam Nabi Malik, who is also general secretary of Jammu and Kashmir Kisan Tehreek (JKKT), said farmers and orchardists are already suffering from weather vagaries causing different diseases to their crop and the non availability of standard pesticides and fungicides in the market have added to their woes.

Mr Malik said the government should take notice of the problems faced by the farmers and orchardists of Kashmir and chalk out a proper and comprehensive plan to address these problems.

'The non-availability of prescribed pesticides and fungicides in the market has created serious problems for the farmers and orchardists particularly in south Kashmir. What has added to the gravity of problem is that sub-standard pesticides and fungicides are being sold to the farmers on exorbitant rates,' he added.

Mr Malik asserted that despite the fact that horticulture is the backbone of rural economy in Jammu and Kashmir and more so in Kashmir valley; the state has not taken the fruit industry seriously and has not provided any incentives and support system to the fruit growers who are keeping the industry alive by their own efforts.

He said in its various recommendations, the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture Science and Technology (SKUAST) Shalimar had prescribed various fungicides but unfortunately these prescribed fungicides are not available to farmers in the market.

'There is sheer negligence on part of the administration, regarding the availability of quality fertilizers and various agro-chemicals; urgently required by the orchardists of the Kashmir, as the new fruit season has already begun,' the CPI (M) leader remarked.

(Posted on 10-05-2014)