Srinagar, Feb 5: After witnessing a year of relatively better quality produce, the apple growers of Kashmir urge the government to enforce high quality standards in the sale and distribution of pesticides and fertilizers in the region.
Farmers throughout the region have lately been complaining that the quality of pesticides and fertilizers generally available in the market was low and that enforcement of quality checks will further elevate the production of apples and other horticulture products from the region.
President of Kashmir Fruit Growers And Dealers Association Fruit Mandi, Sopore, Fayaz Ahmad Malik told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), that the flow of spurious and substandard pesticides has had its impact on the quality of agriculture and horticulture produce in the valley.
“This is one of the prime concerns for the fruit growers of Kashmir. Kashmir has the potential to produce quality produce but it is the flow of spurious pesticides and fertilizers, which impact our crop every year,” he said.
Malik said the government should enforce strict laws against the dealers as well as the retailers involved in the sale of spurious pesticides.
“Horticulture is the biggest employment-generating industry of Jammu and Kashmir. So, we urge the government to enforce strict laws against those persons who promote or sell substandard pesticides,” he said.
In this regard, he said they have already conveyed the authorities to launch a sustained campaign against the sale and use of substandard pesticides and fertilizers.
“It calls for a sustained campaign. The government needs to activate its men and machinery so that the Kashmiri apple, which has a good reputation across the world, is not affected quality-wise. We are sure that Kashmir will have enhanced production of apple if the substandard pesticides and fertilizers are banned,” he said.
Pertinently, last year, the government seized a large quantity of substandard pesticides in valley markets during its regular raids.
In December, 200 quintals of organic fertilizers were seized in Shopian district, which were found without specifications on the bags.
Last month, authorities seized 400 bags of spurious fertilizers in J&K’s Kulgam.
Officials told KNO that both agriculture, as well as the horticulture department, were conducting surprise checks across the valley to seize spurious pesticides and fertilizers.
“Both these departments have their enforcement teams at the district level, which tour to various places and act against the sale of spurious pesticides and fertilisers,” they said.