Early Times Newspaper Jammu
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Snowfall, rain prediction triggers panic harvesting across Kashmir

Saahil Suhail
Early Times Report

Srinagar, October 22: The prediction of heavy rains and snowfall by the Meteorological Department on Saturday has triggered panic harvesting across Kashmir.
The panicky farmers have now started harvesting the crops including plucking and packing apples during night hours across Kashmir as they fear that if the prediction turns right and snowfall occurs it will damage their crop.
A video, showing farmers harvesting apple crop during night in Shopian district of South Kashmir has also gone viral on social media sites.
Farmers told Early Times that snowfall would cause more damage to the crop than harvesting it before time. “There are some varieties that haven’t ripened yet but if it snows heavily it will not only damage the crop but plants as well,” they said.
The farmers and orchardists are also facing problems due to non-availability of laborers as around 80% non-local laborers have already moved out from Kashmir. “These non-local laborers were being engaged for crop harvesting and Kashmiris were dependent on them but in their absence it is getting very difficult,” said Abdul Majeed, an orchardist.
The MeT Department has issued a weather advisory saying that the western disturbance would hit Kashmir on October 23 onwards.
Following this, the horticulture department issued an advisory for orchardists and farmers. The department asked them to speed up apple harvesting and directed them to take preventive measures for minimizing damages.
“Last year due to the early snowfall their orchards suffered massive damage, so keeping that in mind, we have started night harvesting, to avoid any damage and loss,” the horticulture department officials said.
“The harvested heaped fruit in orchards, if any, be shifted to sheds for further disposal,” reads the advisory issued by the department.
The department asked all the orchardists to shake trees manually if snowfall occurs. “Clear water channels and ensure proper drainage of your orchards,” reads the advisory.