Delay in monsoon takes toll on apple, banana yield

Written by Press Trust of India | Shimla, Ahmedabad | Updated: Jun 30 2009, 06:54am hrs
From Himachal Pradesh to Gujarat, the stalled monsoon rains are taking a toll on fruit yields with apples and bananas among the worst hit.

Soaring temperatures coupled with insufficient rain have affected apple production in Himachal Pradesh with 25% of the fruit crop suffering damage.

Apple crop in the low and middle hills has been badly hit and if the monsoon fails to arrive even next week, the crop in the upper hills would also be affected, K R Dhiman, vice-chancellor of Y S Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, Nauni, in Solan district said in Shimla.

The damage to the apple crop because of rising mercury and absence of rain is estimated to be around 25%, he said.

Also, the adverse climate has affected the size of apples, said Tej Pratap, vice-chancellor of Chaudhary Shrawan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya, Palampur.

Experts in Gujarat said monsoon delay might affect the growth and yield of banana crop planted in March-April this year. The absence of rain could make the plants susceptible to fungal or bacterial infections, they said.

With delay in rains in the banana growing regions, the saplings that were planted in March-April are likely to have uneven growth and yield, said research scientist at Navsari Agriculture University (NAU), Balkrishna Kolambe.

Gujarat is the second largest producer of bananas in the country after neighbouring Maharashtra.