New Delhi, Tuesday, August 7, The rapid rise in temperature in the lower areas of Kullu in Himachal Pradesh has forced farmers to replace apple orchards with more profitable and weather friendly fruit tree pomegranate. Farmers in Kullu are increasingly focusing more on pomegranate as high temperature has made apple orchards to disappear.
Sainj valley, Bhuntar, Bajaura, Banjar valley and land below Katrain village are leading the pomegranate transformation. Over 550 hectares of land in Kullu has been covered under pomegranate plantation.
Pomegranate cultivation is now slowly moving towards Manali. Hundreds of horticulturists have grown several varieties in their fields in between the apple orchards to see whether they would produce fruit or not as an experiment.
Pomegranate has beaten apple in fruit growing areas of Kullu due to the rapid rise in the temperature. There are some other factors also responsible for apple losing ground to pomegranate. Pomegranate starts giving fruits after four year plantation while apple trees take ten years to give fruits.
Farmers are already reaping handsome returns. A bigha of land is earning Rs 1.5 to Rs 2 lakh for growers. High market price for pomegranate has influenced many farmers to replace even their vegetable fields by pomegranate trees.