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Duhok apple harvest ravaged by disease

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Duhok apple harvest ravaged by disease

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:09 am

Duhok apple harvest ravaged by disease

Duhok’s Barwari valley, famous for its high quality apples, has been ravaged by disease and shelling this year. Many farmers’ harvests have been completely destroyed by apple scab disease

These trees normally produce tonnes of apples every year in the Barwari area of the Duhok governorate, in the northern Kurdish region of Iraq.

But this year production has been drastically hit by issues such as apple scab disease – while Turkish warplanes continue to shell the area.

Suleiman Taha, a farmer from Baz village in Barwari area of Dohuk, says it’s the first time he’s seen the area unable to produce apples.

In his village of Baz alone, there are 150 to 200 acres of land planted with apple trees, which normally yield a production of 15 tonnes of apples per year.

“There used to be bad products in the previous years, but you would have that in one farm or a village, while the rest of the farms and Barwari area were good. But this year, it has been spread all around the area, and not only the Barwari area,” he says.

Turkish shelling and airstrikes on the area have also damaged the harvest.

The warplanes are targeting the fighters of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), who have a presence in the northern part of Duhok governorate.

“There are many villages in which the villagers are even unable to enter because of fear of shelling,” says Taha.

“They are afraid to go there in case something happens to them. Several times the people of Sheladize, Deralook and its surrounding areas went back to their properties but were martyred by Turkish airstrikes.”

Many farmers have been forced to abandon their farms, which in turn has led to the spread of apple scab disease, since the farmers have not been able to treat their trees with preventative products.

Emmanuel Zeya, a farmer and the Mukhtar of Jadiduk village says his entire apple harvest, from 2,000 trees, is destroyed.

As well as being hit by disease, he says unusual weather has caused problems.

“As you know, the summer was very hot, and there was less water, and the apples became like this,” he says.

“Also, in spring, when the apples were about to become ripe, it was hit by hailstones which left an impact and resulted in apple scab disease and this year’s harvest is gone.”

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/101120182
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Duhok apple harvest ravaged by disease

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