Expressing deep concern over the depressing scenario of horticulture in Kashmir, the CPI (M) State Secretary, and Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami on Tuesday said that horticulture, especially apple production is the backbone of economy in Kashmir.
According to statement issued to a local news agency, KNS he said, “It is the fruit industry which sustained Kashmir even during the most trying circumstances. Unfortunately the department of horticulture and the associated institutions are not paying adequate attention to the problems faced by this vital sector. For a number of years the total production has been decreasing to an alarming level, diseases have gone out of control, prices of fertilizers and needful chemicals have become unaffordable and their quality has dwindled.”
He urged the government to activate the Department of Horticulture, concerned research centres and SKUAST so that the causes of decrease in production and rampant spread of diseases could be traced and dealt with effectively.
CPI (M) leader who visited the apple production areas of south Kashmir observed that the disease of untimely yellowing and falling of leaves is fast spreading in the orchards. Before this disease devastates vast areas, the horticulture department needs to activate its field employees, generate awareness among the orchardists and suggest quick remedies, he suggested.
While reiterating his demand for providing insurance cover to the cultivators and their crops and fruits to insulate them from contingency losses, Tarigami stressed for quality control of the fertilizers and chemicals.