Farmers trim branches of apple trees in Mugu. Photo: Suman Malla/Republica
MUGU, Feb 3: This winter, Mugu neither received the anticipated rainfall, nor adequate snowfall. If the climate was to be more forgiving and bestowed rain and snow, the winter crops and apple production in the region would thrive. However this year, even with January wrapping up without signs of rain or snowfall, farmers have been worried with the possibility of a smaller harvest.
The District Agricultural Development Office (DADO) has decided to distribute saplings of apple trees later than usual, while framers are trimming out branches of old trees, taking their time. Due to unfavorable weather conditions, those saplings at apple nurseries have not been in popular demand and have remained ever since in the nursery.
With no one to come for the saplings, nursery owners fear that the saplings might dry out before being planted in the orchards, said Sakka Bahadur Buda, a Nursary owner at Chayanath Rara Municipality Ward 5.
However, DADO officials claim that they have not been able to reimburse funds due to the process of state restructuring, causing delay in the purchase of saplings.
"We will coordinate with the local levels to purchase and distribute the saplings produced within the district at the earliest," DADO chief Nunu Lal Urav said. "With the weather condition within the district, even a small amount of rainfall would be adequate the fuel the apple production. There is no need to worry that the yield of apples would fall."
Hari Chandra Kulal, another farmer of Ward 5 of Chayanath Rara Municipality, added: "Although lack of snowfall would not have much effect in the apple production from trimming the branches of the tree, if there is no rainfall or snowfall, the production of apples would be less than anticipated."
"Although there has been no advice from the DADO to trim apple branches, I have already done so, based on a decade-long experience and skill I have learned at Himanchal of India," Kulal said.