After 2 seasons of failed crop, Punjab’s kinnow growers eye juicy yield this year - Hindustan Times
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After 2 seasons of failed crop, Punjab’s kinnow growers eye juicy yield this year

ByVishal Joshi
Apr 09, 2023 11:51 PM IST

After two consecutive seasons of failed crops of kinnow, growers of Punjab’s “king fruit” are elated due to favourable climatic conditions and hope for a bumper season this year

Bathinda: After two consecutive seasons of failed crops of kinnow, growers of Punjab’s “king fruit” are elated due to favourable climatic conditions and hope for a bumper season this year.

After two consecutive seasons of failed crops of kinnow, growers of Punjab’s “king fruit” are elated due to favourable climatic conditions and hope for a bumper season this year.
After two consecutive seasons of failed crops of kinnow, growers of Punjab’s “king fruit” are elated due to favourable climatic conditions and hope for a bumper season this year.

Orchardists in Fazilka district’s Abohar area, hub of kinnow cultivation in the country, said on Sunday that, unlike last year, this time the temperature remained favourable during flowering and the ongoing fruit-setting period.

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According to Shivam Setia, a leading fruit trader, kinnow farmers are likely to start finalising contracts with traders from May, after the completion of the fruit period setting phase.

“The season was marred by alternate bearing, a natural phenomenon of production of excessive crop one year followed by little or no crop the next year, in 2021. Groundwater in Abohar region is saline and unfit to irrigate kinnow. In 2022, canal water supply remained suspended for days due to repeated breaches in the Sirhind feeder and the crop failed. But this year, the situation has been favourable so far and we expect a mega crop,” he added.

Award-winning farmer Arvid Setia said in 2022, exceptionally-high temperatures in March and erratic canal water supplies caused widespread damage to the fruit and kinnow farmers had to face severe economic setback.

He said the favourable temperature at the flowering stage (February to March) is between 25 and 30°C, but in 2022, when the fruit started setting in, the temperature suddenly increased to 38 to 41°C, which hit the mandarin fruit’s production.

“This year, flowering was quite good and we hope that we will earn well due to bumper production,” he added.

Punjab leads the country in cultivation of kinnow, with the Abohar belt alone contributing up to 60% to the state’s total production. The fruit is cultivated on nearly 33,000 hectares in Punjab.

The average production of citrus fruit is pegged at more than 5 lakh tonnes of kinnow.

Rohit Bhadu, another kinnow grower from Sheranwala village, said the pest-infestation period of February passed without any adverse impact on the orchards. Last year, Bhadu had to uproot orchards on 5 acres after the farms of the entire belt were deprived of canal-based irrigation supply.

“Last year, kinnow growers faced heavy losses due to unprecedented man-made and natural reasons. But this time, lower temperature allowed good fruiting. Citrus psyllid, a sap-sucking pest responsible for widespread destruction of citrus fruits, had no mark this time,” he added.

Pardeep Dawra, a leading kinnow grower from Gidderanwali near Abohar, is keeping his fingers crossed as the day’s temperature has started raising since Thursday.

“So far, the conditions are conducive but next seven-10 days are crucial as there should not be a steep rise in temperature,” he said.

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