PULWAMA — Apple is in great demand on the world market, but there are many different ways to increase production, with the addition of hand pollination.

Compared to the use of pesticides and fertilisers, manual pollination results in an increase in both apple yield and farming income.

Ghulam Mohammad Chaat, a farmer in southern Kashmir’s Pulwama district, says, “Government should ban the use of pollination sprays because due to these sprays, apple trees lose natural balance or ‘metabolism’, which results into destruction of apple trees.”

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The farmer, in Bellow village of Pulwama, added, “If these sprays are not recommended by any Agricultural University, how these sprays are sold freely in the market.”

“I have lot of experience in hand pollination and I recommend hand pollination for good quality as well as good quantity of apples,” he informs.

Pertinently, use of chemicals, both authorised and unauthorised, may yield benefits in the short term but it has adverse effects both on the trees and soil. It degrades the quality in the long run.

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World agriculture is moving away from the chemicals and pesticides and improvising farming by using natural techniques such as tree to tree pollination in order to reduce the use of chemicals of various types.

Besides, these pesticides have catastrophic effects on humans, leading to health problems such as brain tumour, cancer, and other illnesses.

It is high time that farmers in Kashmir switch to verified new or old techniques rather than using disease-causing substances found in pesticides including pollination sprays.

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