Kashmir growers spend large amount on growth regulators without any research, recommendation

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Jahangeer Ganaie

 Growth regulators worth crores are being sprayed in orchards in Kashmir without any recommendation by Sher-i-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) or horticulture department.

As per news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), in the last one week, growers have sprayed growth regulators worth crores with some growers claiming it helps in better fruit while some say it a useless exercise.

Experts said that there are over a dozen brands of growth regulators available in the market but none of the them has been recommended either by the directorate of horticulture or by SKUAST.

Aamir Yousuf, a grower from Shopian said that fruit set maintained by growth regulators don’t last long and such fruits fall from trees in June and July.

He termed it wastage of time and money and said that even if it helps in one season but the produce declines next year.

“If regulators will be used for continuously for few years, time will come when tree won’t give any fruit,” he said.

Mubashir Ahmad, another fruit grower, however, does not concur with Aamir. He  said that he has been using growth regulators for past few years and it has increased his annual produce.

Experts said fruit growers in Kashmir are using growth regulators for the last eight years but there is neither any recommendation nor any research about the product and its impact.

A scientist from SKAUST Kashmir said that people spray these regulators on their own.

“SKUAST has recommended only boron spray at the pink bud stage, which is a micro nutrient and not a growth regulator. There are some other micronutrients recommended at pea bud stage of fruit and other stages but no such growth regulators or micro nutrients are recommended at full bloom stage,” he said.

He added that regulators are recommended in some western countries where adverse weather occurs during flowering season and it helps in artificially induced production of fruit

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