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India - Torrential rains and hailstorms damage apple and cherry crops

Torrential rains and hailstorms that severely hit several parts of Kashmir earlier this week have severely  damaged apple and cherry crops, causing huge losses to growers. Several varieties of cherries were ready to be harvested. Cherry growers who witnessed decline of the prices of their fruit last year now fear for the worst.

Growers say the Makhmali and Mishri variety of cherry, along with newly introduced varieties such as the Setela, has been battered by this week’s torrential rains.

“A kilogram box of Makhmali cherry variety, which sells in the market at Rs 120 to Rs 150, would ideally fetch a grower Rs 50- Rs 60. But after suffering losses due to rains, the growers fear the prices may go further down,” said Manzoor Ahmad Parra, president, Fruit Growers Association, Ganderbal.

Apple growing areas which were badly hit by strong hailstorm in North Kashmir: Rafiabad, Langate, Handwara. Growers said Bandipora and Tangmarg which has a huge cultivation of cherry have also suffered production losses of up to 40-50 percent.

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