About 2 lakh metric tonnes fruit has been dispatched from the valley as on ending September 2013 against 1.57 lakh mts dispatched during the corresponding period last year.This was stated by the Minister for Planning and Development, Ajay Sadhotra in reply to a calling attention notice of Dr. Bashir Ahmad Veeri about sudden appearance of some diseases on the leaves of apple orchards and causing fall of leaves and damaging the crop (apple etc) to large extent in D. Pora, Pahalgam, Anantnag and other areas of Kashmir and measures taken by the Government to check the diseases and compensation estimated thereof.The Minister said premature leaf fall in apple orchards occurred recently due to the infestation of Alternaria Blotch (Alternaria Mail) and not due to paddy blast. Alaternaria Blotch (Alternaria Mail) inoculates susceptible cultivars of apple like red delicious under the influence of high temperature and high humidity. He said high temperature and rains during 2nd week of August resulted in outbreak of the diseases. About 10-12% orchards were found affected to an extent with alarming situations causing leaf fall even to the extent of 70 to 80 %. This situation included fruit drop resulting in poor fruit quality development during the last phase of its development. He said the department of Horticulture with the assistance of State Agriculture University/ SKUAST(K) has identified the disease as “Alternaria Mail”and communicated remedial measures.He said based on the preliminary assessment about 10-12% orchards were found affected and extent of leaf fall was to the tune of 70-80% in some cases.
He said 217 number of pesticide samples have been drawn from different pesticide dealers of Kashmir Valley during current year (2013-14) and sent to laboratories for testing. He said out of 217, test checks reports of 54 samples have been received which are all “satisfactory. The field functionaries of the department are regularly checking and monitoring the sale of pesticides and fungicides in the market to avoid sale of any sub-standard pesticides/fungicides in the market to avoid sale of any sub-standard pesticides.