Floods and cloudbursts have ruined over 30 per cent of the apple crop in Uttarakhand, much to the disappointment of cultivators of the popular fruit.
"Over 30 per cent of the apple crops have been damaged in the flood and cloudbursts that have brought miseries in Uttarakhand," State Horticulture Department Director B P Nautiyal told PTI.
In monetary terms, the damage to the apple crops has been estimated at between Rs 22-25 crore, he added.
Apples are grown in 31,662 hectares areas in the upper reaches of the hill districts of Nainital, Almora, Pithoragarh, Tehri, Chamoli and Uttarkashi in the state, which have been hit badly by floods and landslides.
The state produces about 32,254 tonnes of apples per annum on average. Prominent varieties of apples grown in the state are 'Sper', 'Red Delicious' and 'Golden Delicious'.
Uttarakhand ranks much below neighbouring Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir in terms of apple production. The latter two states account for almost 99 per cent of production of the fruit in the country. However, apples still feature among the prominent produce of Uttarakhand.
Nautiyal said over 10 per cent of the apples grown in the current crop year were lost in flood water, while 20 per cent were damaged due to landslides that hampered transportation of the fruit.
In New Delhi, Chamber of Azadpur Fruit & Vegetable Traders President Metharam Kriplani told PTI that arrival of apples from Uttarakhand at Asia's biggest fruit and vegetable market have stopped after flood and landslides in the hill state.
"Till August-end, 4-5 trucks (each carrying 10 tonnes) of apple used to come to Azadpur from Uttarakhand. The arrival is zero nowadays due to the natural calamity there," he added.
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