The city’s famous guava fruit in orchards spread over about 1,700 acres has been damaged due to morning frost, resulting in big losses to the local farmers.
When contacted, agriculture officer Mehfooz Elahi said that the crop had been affected in areas, including Nasratkhel, Kaghazai, Mohammadzai, Shahpur, Jarwanda, Chakarkot, Garhijaat near Kohat Toi, and in areas near Hangu and Bannu bypasses and Rawalpindi Road.
He said that there was no available cure from frost except covering the whole orchard with plastic sheets, but in that case the fruit did not ripe due to blockage of sunlight.
He said that the affected fruit was tasteless and without water component and it could not be used for preserving it in the form of juice by the owners to make up for their losses.
Director agriculture, Kohat, Zahirullah Khattak responding to a question said that they used to send the report of damage to their headquarters in Peshawar in such cases, but the farmers were never helped. He said that most of the guava trees had crossed their age limit of 40 years and lost resistance to diseases.
Malik Naveed, who owns a guava orchard, told this scribe that despite rains they were getting the fruit since January, but the recent icy rain called ‘Channi’ in the wee hours had damaged the whole crop. The fruit has stopped growing and developed black scars besides losing sweetness.
Reporter. Morning frost damages guava crop in Kohat. Dawn, March 6, 2017.