The German Ambassador to India – Dr. Martin Ney, visited apple orchards in Kashmir along with delegates from the German Embassy, GIZ, Bayer and the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST), recently. The visit was initiated to understand the concerns faced by apple growers and to witness first-hand the on-ground activities carried out under the project, a press release issued here today said.
The delegation visited the Ambri apple research station where Prof. Dr. Nazeer Ahmed, Vice Chancellor, SKUAST, explained the joint initiative taken by Bayer, GIZ & SKUAST scientists to test the weather station linked RIMpro model for forecasting and monitoring apple scab which is a dreaded disease affecting apple crop in the Kashmir valley. Apple scab if not efficiently managed causes heavy economic loss to apple growers. Currently the RIMpro model is being tested at two locations viz. Phanu in South Kashmir and Wadura in North Kashmir. After validating the advisory to the apple growers based on RIMpro model for 2 years, it will be extended to more areas in the valley.
Later in the day, the delegation visited the SKUAST Shalimar campus, where Dr. Nazeer Ahmed shared information on the various research and development projects being undertaken to modernize apple cultivation in Kashmir. All stakeholders of the project are satisfied with the new partnership for innovation, as it will help in transforming apple cultivation in Kashmir.