Farmers expect bumper crop this year after sufficient snowfall

SHOPIAN: Farmers in south Kashmir’s Shopian hope bumper crop this year and rise in market rates after sufficient snowfall and rains – which according to them will compensate heavy losses suffered by horticulture sector last year.
Heavy snowfall in upper reaches is being considered a positive sign as the snow on mountains maintain the water supply in summers.
According to a horticulture expert, the sufficient snowfall in winters maintains of water cycle in summers and autumn – thus a normal growth of plants and better crop.
This winter is being considered harshest ever both in terms of heavy snow and cold – but it caused heavy damage to horticulture sector. Besides heavy damages, the market rates of Kashmir apple also saw decline.
“Sufficient snow in winters keeps orchards green,” said Shakeel Ahmad Bhat, an orchardist.
“The frosting in winters keeps many diseases at bay and reduces the population of fungi and insect eggs,” Riyaz Ahmad Shah – a horticulture expert said.
Kashmir horticulture sector is comprised on 3.4 lac hectares of land while 50 percent Kashmir’s economy is dependent on it. According to an official figures, horticulture sector feeds around 34 lac population.

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