Shimla: As hailstorm continues to damage the crops, apple farmers in Himachal Pradesh have now have started covering apple groves with anti-hail nets.
The farmers said that these nets, which costs them Rs. 600 and Rs. 800 approximately, protect the crops in hail prone areas, like Rohru, Narkanda, Rampur, Jubble, Kotkhai Theog, Kotgarh, and Chopal.
Earlier, a dozen of anti-hail guns were installed by the government, which the farmers stated were not so successful.
A farmer, named Amar Singh Nalva, said, “The farmers have been benefitted to a great extent by these anti-hail nets. Another benefit of these nets is that it stops the extra growth of the plants.”
Director of horticulture, Manohar Lal Dhiman said, “The anti-hail nets should be installed before the setting up of the crop after the flowering. With the climate changing, the demand of anti-hail nets has gone up high as this is the best way for farmers to protect their crop with qualitative and quantitative fruits of apple.”
“More funds are being generated by the government for this as the demand has gone up. The government provides nearly 5000 square feet area of apple groves to each farmer as a subsidy. This way the farmers will have to pay only Rs. 30,000 for the anti-hail nets,” he added.
Himachal Pradesh has 11 lakh hector land under crop cultivation and out of this two hundred thousand hectors land is of fruit groves.
The economy of thousands of people is dependent on the agricultural produce of apples as it generates over 4500 crore revenue for the people in the state.
The hails and changing climate are the only threat to the apple crop in the state and now due to changing climate, the farmers here have started protecting their crop by covering it through anti-hail nets. (ANI)