Fruit growers worried after dry weather in ‘Chillai-Kalan’

After dry weather in ‘Chillai Kalan’, the anxious fruit growers of Kashmir valley are hoping for snow and rains in the month of February for better fruit growth but Horticulture Department insists that there is no need to worry as of now.
During Chillai Kalan (December 21 to January 31), the higher reaches and plains of Valley experience heavy snow and the temperatures remain below freezing. However, since last many years and this year as well Chillai Kalan has overall seen no or very less snowfall.
The Valley fruit growers associated with Rs. 3200 crore Horticulture industry said if the same weather condition prevails in the month of February, the losses to the industry are imminent. “If there is no snow and rains in the month of February the fruit cop would be affected to a large extent like decline in growth and size of fruit and also damage to the trees,” said president of Sopore Fruit Mandi, Mushtaq Ahmad.
Ahmad said the dry weather mostly affects high altitude because of low-water level as compared to plains. “Now, all we can hope is for snow and rains in the month of February. The situation is same as last year when weather remained dry in January but then it snowed in February and situation improved,” he said.
President of Shopian Fruit Growers Association, Muhammad Amin said the weather in Valley has started to change. “The kind of weather we used to witness in January is now being witnessed in the months of February and March. Last year also our season was one month late. This is the overall effect of climatic change but now we hope that it would snow in the month of February,” he said.
Director Horticulture, Pawan Sharma said there is no need to worry at this moment as the “situation is not so critical”. “As of now there is no issue but if the dry weather continues then there is problem. There is no need to worry at this moment because the situation is not so critical

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