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Another hailstorm hits orchards in south Kashmir
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Another hailstorm hits orchards in south Kashmir

Post by Syeda Rafiyah on Saturday, May 6, 2023

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Srinagar, May 05: Amid continuous rains, hailstorm has affected apple orchards in several parts of south Kashmir affecting apple orchards and leaving growers worried about the crop produce.
The fresh hailstorm coupled with rains has affected orchards in Anantnag and Kulgam with farmers saying that it has affected the apple orchards.
In Damhal Hanjipora area of Kulgam district the severe hailstorm has wreaked havoc in villages like Manzgam, Korel, Asnoor, Mandobal, Rewatan, Watto etc. causing significant damage to orchards.
The hailstorm followed by a cloudburst has also hit the upper reaches of Hallan Lammar in Kulgam which triggered flash flood in the area.
“Three days ago rains coupled with hailstorm affected and damaged apple orchards. Vegetables and mustard fields have also suffered damage. This year we are more worried and we are not sure about the crop improvement,” said Ghulam Ahmad, a farmer.
He appealed to the Horticulture and Revenue Department to visit the area and take an assessment of the damage and provide some relief for the affected farmers.
As per the locals, cloudbursts are not uncommon in hilly areas in upper reaches and it is a reminder that there is need for disaster preparedness and management in the region.
Director Horticulture Kashmir, Ghulam Rasool Mir said that the department has issued an advisory asking farmers to take precautionary measures to save crops.
“The hailstorms affect apple orchards, fruits and leaves. The actual assessment is taken by the revenue department,” he said.
Subject Matter Specialist, Directorate of Horticulture Kashmir, Mohd Amin Bhat said the teams of department have visited the affected areas
“Yes there has been damage to the apple orchards in upper reaches of Kulgam and other areas. Rain during the bloom is a problem,” he said.
The SMS also said that the farmers of low-lying areas should maintain proper drainage channels in the field to avoid water stagnation. “If the inundation or water remains in land or orchards for long it can cause diseases so farmers should take precautions. When there is sunshine the farmers should go for the recommended sprays,” he said.
Two days ago, a cloudburst occurred near Asia’s Largest Fish Farm in Kokernag area of Anantnag district which triggered a flood-like situation and filled with silt.
Chief Program Officer of the farm, Mohi-Ud-In Wani said the cloudburst triggered muddy water and silt at the water channel of the farm, however no damage was caused to the fish.
“We were already warned about the possible cloudburst. We mobilized our staff and machinery. The water of the cloudburst had a heavy silt load. With the help of the staff we were able to save the fish farm from damage. If there would have been no alert then it could have taken a heavy toll on the fish farm,” he said.
The seed of the government-owned farm is supplied to Kashmir, Ladakh and other parts of the country. “It is getting high-tech. This is the important fish farm in Kashmir which is wonderfully maintained and managed,” he said.
Wani said that after the cloudburst, the fisheries department has also constituted a committee to meet such situations in future.
“There is always predictability of such sudden events. We have taken many measures to mitigate such kind of events at the fish farm,” he said.

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