There are fears that the recent winds and hailstorms may have caused growth problems for 40 to 43 per cent of the guava crop in the famous Ustarzai and Kaghzai orchards, that spread over 320 ha. Agriculture Department official Jawad Ahmed said field workers had been sent to assess the damage to guava and other fruits like loquat, orange and plum.
He said oranges are grown in the areas along the Rawalpindi Road and Kharmatu, while plums and loquats were produced at various other places. When contacted, Agriculture Department district executive officer Zahirullah told Dawn on Wednesday that only the budding guava fruit would have been affected by the hailstorm. He said the real picture would only become clear damage assessments.
Zahirullah said the damage assessment report would be sent to the director general extension wing of the agriculture department, Peshawar. He said it was the second time in a month that the fruit had been damaged, first due to strong winds for a week and then by hailstorm.