Shopian: The Horticulture department in Kashmir will bring 200 more hectares of horticultural land under high-density fruit, particularly apple, plantation next year.
According to officials, the department has decided to bring 200 more hectares comprising 4000 kanals of land under plantation of imported high-density apple varieties.
This government scheme will cost about Rs 2.5 lakh per kanal of land. Half of this cost will be borne by the government under a subsidy scheme. The scheme is open only to those who opt for more than three kanals of land for high-density plantation.
Since the introduction of high-density apple plantation in Kashmir, about 3.4 lakh hectares of horticulture land, which is 0.07 percent of the land under horticulture, has been brought under it.
According to experts, growing the high-density apple trees involve less expenses on sprays and labour, as the trees are smaller in size and these fruit varieties ripe months before the traditional varieties.
However, people affiliated with the fruit sector are of the opinion that the apples grown in Himachal Pradesh also reach the market in the same season as the high-density apples, which results in decline in rates, especially if the production from Kashmir is high.
According to official figures, for the next season about seven lakh fruit plants are to be imported to Kashmir from different countries, especially Italy. The number excludes those which will be brought by local entrepreneurs.
Director of Horticulture, Kashmir, Ajaz Ahmad Bhat confirmed that 200 hectares of horticulture land will be brought under high-density plantation next year. He said all this area will be covered under the subsidy scheme.