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Threat of porcupines rises in Kashmir, farmers worried over damaged orchards

Last Updated on January 1, 2022 at 5:41 pm

Fruit growers in Kashmir are facing a huge threat of rodents especially porcupines by peeling off the bark of the fruit trees and leaving them damaged.

Horticulture industry which is a great source of income for the people and brings huge revenue to the economy has been majorly hit recently by heavy snowfall, abrogation of article 370, Covid-19 pandemic, lockdowns, supply of Iranian apple via Afghanistan and other issues and many other issues.

Now horticulture industry is facing a threat of porcupines that are destroying the fields and fruit trees and many other plantations.

In different parts of Kashmir, the problem is increasing and porcupines mainly eat bark of the apple, almond and other trees besides damaging vegetables and eating corns of saffron. Orchardists said that porcupines have peeled off whole bark from the stem of their trees and leaving the tree damaged.

They further added that to grow apple tree it takes several years but they are destroyed by rodents and porcupines in just few minutes and making their investment and hard work waste.

Porcupines have created a havoc in Rohmoo, Tujan, Kamrazipora, Goosu, Frasipora, Koil, Malangpora, Renzipora, Wasoora and other villages of Pulwama and Budgam district and residents said that porcupines have heavily damaged their apple and almond trees. Farmers complained that the rodents are also damaging their vegetables and has requested horticulture department to look into the matter.

A senior horticulture officer said that it has already been advised to farmers to cover the stump with jute bags or a wire mesh as there are thousands of porcupines and it will take time to solve this problem. He said that farmers can also pepper for small trees.