Ascertain cause of leaf drop within a week: Govt.

SRINAGAR: Sharing the concern over the leaf drop in orchards in some areas in the Valley, the Horticulture Minister, Mr. Abdul Rehman Veeri today directed Chief Horticulture officers and other field functionaries to make immediate surveys and ascertain the cause of the disease which affects the fruit produce.

The direction in this regard was given by the Minister at a high level officers meeting held here today. The meeting was convened by the Minister to take stock of the situation obtained out of the sudden leaf fall reported from many areas of the Valley.

The Horticulture Minister directed the CHOs to submit a report of the cause of disease to higher ups within a week for taking preventive measures to stop further fruit losses. He instructed the experts to prescribe relevant pesticides and fungicides for spray to control the disease and avoid further loss to the fruit especially apple. He also directed giving wide publicity to dos’ and don’ts for awareness of the fruit growers.

Mr. Veeri called for crackdown against unscrupulous traders indulging in sale and stocking of substandard pesticides and fungicides in various parts of the State. He said that horticulture is the backbone of States’ economy and about 30 lakh people are directly or indirectly associated with this industry, adding that nobody will be allowed to play with their livelihood.

          The Horticulture Minister said that all the field agencies of the Horticulture in particular law enforcement wing have been given strict instructions to raid any establishment found dealing in sub-standard pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers.

He said he will personally monitor the manufacturing and inflow of various kinds of pesticides in the Valley and where ever the sale of substandard pesticides is detected stern action will follow not only against the concerned dealers but also the concerned officials of the area. He said the action will include imprisonment and cancellation of the dealership license.
Mr. Veeri also sought cooperation of the fruit growers and traders as well as general public to check the menace of substandard  pesticides and said immediate intimation should be given to the  Director Horticulture and  concerned District Horticulture officers about it so that immediate action is initiated against the culprits.

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