Dehradun: The Haldwani Mandi Parishad will be sending a delegation of farmers to Himachal Pradesh for a week to study the apple cultivation techniques. Apple is grown on 34,000 hectares of land in the state and the area is said to be shrinking due to colonization, lack of incentives and changing weather pattern.
This problem is evident in Mukteshwar area of Nainital district where the apple farmers have started switching to apricot cultivation as it suits the changing climate patterns and also has good demand in the market.
Khivraj Singh Bisht, a farmer in the Mukteshwar area of Nainital district said that apple cultivation in the area is slowly coming down as most of the orchard lands have been used for construction of villas.
Bisht said, “Apricot cultivation is on the rise as the weather condition is conducive. Lack of government incentives is also leading to a situation where the farmers are forced to move away from apples.”
Director horticulture BS Negi said that apple was on top priority of the department as it had the potential to raise the livelihood of the farmers. “We will be introducing the ‘Spur’ variety in the areas where the climate is turning warm. Apart from this, the Apple Mission which is an intensive project to promote apple cultivation would reach out to the farmers with better techniques, technology transfer and improved plants so that the income and apple production can be raised”, he said.