Apple orchards in Pulwama

Kashmiri apple has its own taste, flavor and peculiar tang than those grown elsewhere in the country but “latest” commercialization and marketing traits have introduced in it other elements of too much use of pesticides and insecticides and even artificial fattening methods, though not generally. Still Kashmiri apple is the most sought after. Proper and timely irrigation facilities to apple trees are necessary for harvesting a good and a healthy crop.
It is, however, a matter of concern that 50 percent of apple orchards in Pulwama district in South Kashmir lack proper irrigation facilities which can affect both the quality as well the production of the famous fruit. On account of massive urbanization and erecting of concrete jungles; water bodies, streams, small springs and other sources of natural sweet water, otherwise in abundance in Kashmir, have dried up resulting in a scramble for water. This scenario was never heard of, say a few decades back that apple trees had to suffer on account of lack of “irrigation facilities”.
However, forty bore wells in un- irrigated areas provided by the Horticulture Department had borne good results but still 50 percent of the orchards are waiting for similar facilities. Orchards in Tral, Pampore, Litter and Rajpora need irrigation facilities and the same must be arranged in time bound manner to save the trees suffer from the ill effects of lack of irrigation and the resultant fall in production and in quality. Rain water harvesting techniques, however, are the need of the hour and must be encouraged. In the meantime, the need of more of bore wells could meet the needs of the orchard owners till alternate and lasting arrangements for irrigation are made.