Budgam farmers worried due to pollution by brick kilns, factories

Budgam farmers worried due to pollution by brick kilns, factories
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‘Use copper spray to free plum orchards from fungus’

SADAM HUSSAIN PANDOW

BUDGAM: Huge number farmers can be seen as spraying their plum orchards in several villages of central Kashmir’s Budgam.
Plums are grown in every part of Kashmir but Budgam’s Kanipora and Chadoora are prominent in plum production from last few years in Kashmir as per official report.
From mid-February, farmers remain very busy copper spraying their orchards. “The first spray which we are using now is copper spray for the purpose of protecting plum orchards from different diseases,” said a farmer, Abdul Rasheed (43).
The presence of orange fungus spreading from trunk to branch tips, on plum trees, from last few years “is actually the result of increase in pollution due to brick kilns and other smoke producing industries”, said a farmer, Ghulam Mohammad.
Moreover, he said, freeing trees from such diseases needs many medicinal sprays from time-to-time and “copper spray is one among them which is beneficial in controlling various reeling hetero diseases”.
“Most of us are not much aware about how, what, when and why to spray due to lack of knowledge,” said a farmer Mohammad Shafi. He said there should be proper guidance and training from time-to-time for offering proper solutions through allied authorities but “unfortunately it never happens”.
Mostly, three sprays are common to plum orchards to protect them from several timely diseases. Three main sprays are must to protect the leaves and blooms of plum tree from dying in which copper Oxycholorine (fungicide), iron sulfate and oil spray are vital.
Horticulture Development Officer, Chadoora, Abida Malik said the copper spray that farmers are using these days is not recommended from their side. She said farmers were “spraying it on their own”. She said that oil spray was necessary to make plum orchards disease-free during these days. She said the department was “providing time-to-time instructions to farmers regarding the spray”.
Technical advancements have made spraying orchards easy. “Few years before, it was time consuming to spray the same plum orchard, using traditional means but now due to availability of technical things it takes me only few hours to spray the same adequately,” said a local orchardist. He said he uses various sprays in a year.

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