The famous pink guavas of Prayagraj and Kaushambi are now scarce to find. According to Vijay Kishore Singh, Horticulture, Experiment and Training Center (HETC) in-charge, Khusro Bagh, because of the heavy rainfall, guava trees of the famous 'guava belt' of the two districts have flowered quite early this year. Though the fruit is available, its quality is poor.
"The red colour, in the 'Lal Surkha' variety of the guava, is no longer as impressive as it should have been", he said. For the past four years, the production of the famous Allahabadi Guava, the 'Surkha' and 'Safeda' varieties has failed, leading to an increase in prices. Singh explained, "The guava trees should ideally start bearing flowers by late October and by mid-December, the fruits start to ripen and owing to the intense fog and chilly winter, the fruit gets its red colour during mid-December to mid-January."
He added that ideally, the farmers should check the flowering of the fruit during summers by using urea (in mid-May to June), and if the trees do not bear fruits in the rainy season, the winter crops would be healthy. However, the district's farmers are blaming the government machinery for the failure of their crops yet again.
"None of the government officials visited our fields or trained us as to what methods we should apply to save our crop or get a healthy harvest. Hence, the farmers of world-famous 'Lal Surkha' and Safeda have not been able to reap the benefits", said Indrajeet Singh Patel, leader of Allahabadi Surkha Welfare Association. Several cultivators of guava in the region are now planning alternative means of livelihood.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)