By : Mohan Verma
New high yielding varieties of pear and its better shelf-life offers a new cash crop option for farmers in this hill state especially in Kullu valley, replacing senile and decaying old root stock of apple, the official of Horticulture Department said.
Deputy Director of Department posted at Kullu, Mr. B.C. Rana told that farmers are getting better yields from upcoming varieties of pears as 20 kilogram box was fetching price band of Rs. 1400 to Rs. 1800 in the market not only diversifying their age old practice of farming, moreover, offers new avenues with remunerative options.
During 2013-14 state has record 25214 MT of pear as Kullu district lead with 21841 MT followed by Shimla 7149 MT, Kangra 1530 Mt, Solan 1393 MT, Mandi 1075 MT, Sirmaur 819 MT, Una 759 MT, Hamirpur 227 MT, Chamba 266 MT, Bilaspur 135 MT, Kinnaur 17 MT and Lahaul & Spiti 3 MT.
Currently there is about 7220 hectare under this crop and it is 490 hectare in Kullu alone. New varieties like barlet, red barlet, star crimson, kiffer, moti dandi and max red are popular among the farmers.
Red bartlet having better shelf life is getting best price band of about Rs. 1400 to Rs 1800 per box in the market followed by red crimson, though having low shelf value it is fetching Rs. 1500 to Rs. 1700 per box.
Earlier farmers dwindling with senile and decaying apple root-stocks seems to be glad with this new option as it can grow in the low line area at the height of 1700 to 2400 ft from the sea level.
Agriculture experts feels that apple crop having major impact due to global warming and ascending of its belt in high snow line area, its plantation could be better option in the areas like Bajaura etc.
The pears can withstand the heat of 45 degrees Celsius, moreover, it did not require round the year care as apple.
The crop is being spray once in the year as farmers sprinkle the zinc sulphate and phosphors sulphate etc. in the month of April only. Demand of pears is picking up in the market as doctor prescribe pear to their sugar patients.
Apple, walnut, mango, pear, peach, pecan, pomegranate are among number of fruit being grown in the state. The fruit production is the mainstay of people rendering livelihood of about more than 1.50 lakh households in the state.