In season of ups and downs, kinnow clicks when sour
What the market’s behaviour boiled down to was that the best prices came when the fruit was sour. “This year farmers sold a large part of their produce in November and early December, when the fruit is not fully sweet,” says Dr Lajwinder Singh, Punjab’s director for horticulture. “They sold the fruit directly to weddings for use as fruit juice, hence a limited amount came to the market and fetched good prices. Now it has come in a glut but overall the season had been better than what kinnow farmers had expected.”
What has caused the most concern is a drop in yield per plant. Fruit dropping, the result of an excessively hot summer and shortage of canal water, restricted each tree to an average 1.20 quintals kinnow against last year's average 2 quintals. The horticulture department is compiling its data on yield per area, but rough estimates peg that at 21 tonnes per hectare to last year's to 22 tonnes per hectare. The area under kinnow had increased from 39,000 hectares to 42,000, enough for a higher output even at the lower yield.
“Yet the farmer got good prices for his fruits,” says Dr Jagnandan Brar, the
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