Jumbahadur Budhathoki Magar, 73, from Nisikhola Rural Municipality-5 of Baglung district has an apple orchard with 200 trees of both local and Italian species.
He had sold 15 quintals of apple last year, but the production slumped this time. The apple production declined sharply because of hailstone occurred last March and April. Now, the orchard wears a dreary look.
Magar had been doing traditional apple farming since 2048BS. He has the farm in 15 ropanies of land at Masgaon. Although the Italian species of apple begun two years back gave good yield last year, it witnessed slump this time. “I had planned to sell 20 to 25 quintals of apple this year, but in vain,” he said, adding that hailstone damaged it in the beginning of flowering season.
Even the farmers at Niseldhor area are worried over the meagre product. With this, some of them have shifted to potato farming.
Magar had planted 200 saplings of Italian species of apple. He explained, “After I became Chairman of Dhorpatan Apple Bloc, we began collective apple farming. I’m leading the apple farmers of Neseldhoka as well. The Italian species of apple gave good harvest last year, but the hailstone damaged it during flowering this year.”
Although the farmers here were not attracted to apple farming reasoning snow, and rains in Dhorpatan area, the Agriculture Knowledge Centre encouraged them to opt for it after successful test production of Italian species of apple.
Earlier, Dhorpatan valley, Sentung, Shyalpakhe, Niseldhor and Mas were conducting traditional farming, but in minimum scale.
Farmer from Dhorpatan-9, Ram Bahadur Gharti, informed that he also had good harvest from 181 trees of apple last year. But, the production declined much this time.