GANDERBAL: The propagation of grapevine in Valley has been hit hard by bad weather with horticulture department losing 50 percent of grape planting material at its Krallabagh nursery in Lar, here.
Vijay Kumar Gupta, Chief Horticulture Officer Ganderbal said that about 50 percent of 30,000 plantations of different grape verities at the Krallabagh nursery failed in propagation because of unfavorable weather. This in turn has hit the grape growers who avail planting material from this nursery, he added.
Horticulture department, under its propagation programme for increasing availability of quality grape planting material to growers, engages in propagation of different varieties every year.
“Early this year, we planted more than 30,000 saplings of different grape varieties at the Krallabagh nursery, but we are witnessing a massive damage in the propagation which is unprecedented,” he said.
A worker at the nursery said: “Young plantations are prone to damage, but this much loss has never been witnessed.”
Last year too, the growers had suffered massive loss as untimely rains prior to harvest had damaged the fruit, said Muhammad Shafi, a grape grower from Repora village.
Gupta too acknowledged the fact that both the grapes production we as well as the new plantations raised last year failed because of unfavourable weather. He said there was a drop of about 70 percent in grape yield last year.
The department, as per the worker, mostly focuses on propagating some of the well-adapted varieties including Hussaini, Sahibi, Kishmish, Anabeshai besides the Thomson seedless variety at this nursery.
The Krallabagh nursery mostly caters to the growers of Ganderbal and other areas. Workers at the nursery said the planting material of the nursery is mostly in demand in the neighboring areas of Repora and Lar, which are famous for growing grapes. “But now it is growing in other areas too, as more and more growers from other districts too approach for availing the grape vines,” they said. Kralabagh nursery would provide thesapling at a very low cost to farmers.
In 2014-15, the Ganderbal area produced 330 MT of grapes, highest in the state.