UDHAMPUR, September 10: More than 80 dried and fresh fruit crops were damaged due to heavy rains and snowfall in the Panchari-Landhar and Latti-Dudu-Chenani region of Udhampur district, inflicting heavy losses to orchards which are now hoping for a financial plan and installation of a cold room, protection net against agricultural snow.
Dried fruits and fresh fruits are a source of income for thousands of families in Jammu and Kashmir, including in the remote and scenic areas of Panchari, Latti and Dudu-Chenani in Udhampur district, but producers associated with this sector are facing losses due to the poor harvest this year. as well as a sharp drop in prices due to the COVID-19 pandemic as no buyer reaches the producers.
Farmers from Parbhat Singh, Sandokh Raj, Des Raj, Bhim Singh, Girdhari Lal from the Meer region and Kanth Gali and Panchari said fresh fruit was totally damaged this year.
The best crop is apple along with apricot, pear and plums, but due to heavy rains over 80 percent of the crop has been severely damaged. Nut production is barely 20 to 25 percent this year.
“We are producing good quality walnuts which would be sold for over Rs 200-250 per kilo during the corresponding period of last year, now we have no more buyers, that is why we are asking the government to give us the installation of a cold store as given to the farmers of Kashmir and an agricultural snow protection net, ”they said.
In addition, farmers do not have any facilities to sell their production due to the absence of local Mandis and are forced to sell their product locally with very minimal tariffs. “If the market were to remain sluggish, producers would suffer increasing losses,” said one of the villagers.
“This year’s crop of nuts, apples and other fruits has been damaged by hail and other crops such as corn are damaged by lack of rain and we only have 15 to 20 percent of the crop. agricultural production this year, “he added.
“Most of the farmers have taken out KCC loans and we urge the government to forgo our loans,” pleaded the farmers.
Horticultural technician Sanjeev Singh said: “Two years ago, farmers were earning well thanks to exceptional agricultural production, in association with the horticultural department, but this year the harvest is 80% lower due to unprecedented weather conditions.