Farmers rejoice over snowfall

Published On: March 4, 2019 04:00 AM NPT By: DB BUDHA

Expect better production of apple

JUMLA, March 4: Farmers in Jumla are expecting better harvest of apple because of recent snowfall in the district.

Dal Bahadur Khadka, a local of Tatopani Rural Municipality, believes that the snowfall around this time will be beneficial for the crop, as apple trees are bearing leaves.

"Apple trees will not be infected by pests this year," Khadka said, adding: "And apple plants will not wilt this season, thanks to continuous downpours in this month."

Amar Rawat, a commercial apple farmer from Chandan Nath Municipality, said that there was scarcity of water at his nursery last year. He complained that he was unable to produce the quality of apple he wished for.

He is, however, optimistic for this year and says that he is confident about growing high-quality apple trees.

With an improved produce guaranteed this year, farmers can really benefit financially. Apple farmers say that it is now time to focus on pruning and using fertilizers.

Previously, farmers used to begin pruning in mid-December. This year though, pruning began from mid-January.

Chief of Prime Minister Agricultural Modernization Program, Jogendra Kandu, said that circumstances have greatly favored farmers this year. "Favorable weather and climate promises great income for apple farmers," Kandu stated.

Snowfall began from January 22, dampening soil. Adequate water has been collected in snow ponds in the district. This opens prospect for excellent quality apples.

The super zone has encouraged all sectors of Chandan Nath and Tatopani Rural Municipality to focus on commercial farming. Four wards in Patarasi and three wards in Guthichaur aim for commercial farming of apples in upcoming years.

"Apple experts have come to the farms to provide practical and theoretical knowledge regarding apple farming," he said.

According to Apple Super Zone Program Jumla, 225 farmer groups of 15 clusters were given 10 kilogram of limestone along with stickers, brushes, and gloves, as aids to farming. According to Kandu, apple farming is being conducted in over 3,000 hectare of land in the district. He says that apple farming will grow significantly this year.

As farmers were growing new breeds of apples, the produce was not as satisfactory last year. However, it is believed that trees will bear more fruits this year.

The government provides subsidy of 50 percent on equipment purchased for apple farming.

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