3,000 kanals more land this year for high density apple plantation in Kashmir

Shopian: Around three thousand kanals of horticulture land this year is being brought under high density apple plantation in Kashmir.
Continuing the trend of high density apple plantation in the valley where 50 percent of the population is dependent on horticulture, the government this year is going to bring 150 hectares of land under high density apple plantation.
Officials also reveal that three local companies have been registered to import different varieties of these apple s from different parts of the world, including from Italy.
The high density apple plantation scheme costs around Rs 2 lakh per kanal, of which the government pays half the amount and the grower pays the other half.
“It includes the plantation of trees, drip set, support system and official expertise,” an official said.
The Chief Executive Officer of one of the fruit related importing companies told Kashmir Reader that besides apple, last year apricot, pear and other trees were planted in the valley but not under the subsidised schemes.
According to official data, Rs 30 crore is supposed to be spent on the high density apple plantation scheme in the year 2020. Of this Rs 30 crore, half the amount will be given by government on subsidised schemes and for the other half, orchardists will pay.
The damage caused to Kashmir’s horticulture sector by last year’s November 7 snowfall has increased the demand for plantation of high density apple trees. Hundreds of orchards in the valley sustained as much as 80 percent damage to their crop.
Tariq Ahmad, a horticulture expert, said that imported apple varieties are being planted in the orchards after soil tests and other research, so that the most suitable apple variety is planted according to soil quality and topography.
Last year, around 2000 kanals of land were brought under high density plantation under the government subsidised scheme.
Director Horticulture Kashmir, Ajaz Ahmad Bhat confirmed that 150 hectares will be brought under high density apple plantation. “One kanal of land costs Rs 2 lakh (for the plantation),” he said.

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