Far from being a bane, the recent rains would prove a boon for apple crop in Kashmir, experts say. But the weather must improve soon, they hasten to add.
Precipitation over a couple of day will prove beneficial for this sector, the director for horticulture told the Kashmir Observer.
The water level is receding, and the meteorological department has forecast improvement in weather, so there is no cause for worry as of now, he said.
According to the officer, guidelines had been issued to growers advising them to improve drainage in orchards as water-logging could give rise to diseases like root rot in apple trees.
Senior horticulture expert Muhammad Shafi Kar said that wet weather could have negative effects only if it got prolonged.
Another expert, Dr. MS Wani said that the rains would help the crop grow in size and colour.
Due to rains, there is decrease in night temperature which is necessary for the proper coloration of fruit, and at the same time it increases the size of the fruit by 20 to 30 per cent due to adequate moisture available in the air, Dr. Wani said.
He also said apples rich in colour are in huge demand in the market.
Consumers buy apples which are good in colour. Therefore, I believe the downpour will prove beneficial to horticulture sector, he said.
It (rainfall) was much needed. It definitely will help to increase the production. Owners of apple orchards are happy with the downpour, said the president of the Fruit Growers and Dealers Union, Ghulam Rasool Wagay.
The meteorological department has predicted improvement in weather.
Day temperature will improve and the forecast for Tuesday is mostly sunny, weathermen said.
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