A surprise visit by Minister for Horticulture Mahinder Singh Thakur to Dr Y S Parmar University of Horticture and Forestry on Friday brought a disappointing fact into light. More than 60,000 high-density apple plantation material had dried up and become waste/unfit for farmer’s use.
Approximately 1.39 lakh saplings imported from Italy under the World Bank-funded Rs 1,143-crore horticulture development project for distribution among the farmers, were sent to the university for mandatory quarantine to check if the plants were not infected with any disease.
The farmers wanted to replace low-yield fruit varieties with the new high-density apple plants.
However, within a fortnight, the plants dried up and become unfit for use by farmers. It was found that not only the sapling planted in the farm for quarantine purposes had dried up, but also the stock kept for further testing in the farms.