Assessment of knowledge index of farmers about the cultivation of apple (Malus domestica) in temperate regions of Kashmir valley
Keywords: Apple, knowledge index, assessment, Kashmir, yield.
AbstractApple is one of the important fruits grown in different regions, including India. In India, it is mainly cultivated in temperate regions of Kashmir valley due to its well suited climatic conditions. In Kashmir, most people are directly or indirectly dependent on apple cultivation for their livelihood. Apple is considered to be Kashmir’s eye as it produces 80% share of total fruit produced in the country and is the mainstay of the economy with revenue of around Rs 1500 crores. More than seven lakh families, i.e., above 50% of the population in the valley, are associated with this industry and almost 3.5 lakh hectares of land is under apple cultivation. The area under apple fruit has increased, but the production and productivity has not improved to a satisfactory level. Adopting improved technologies plays an important role in achieving the goal of higher production and productivity in Kashmir valley. A wide gap exists between the available technologies and its actual adoption by the apple growers was reflected through poor yield at the grower’s field. This disparity was entirely due to a lack of knowledge and awareness about various innovative techniques and technologies developed at different research stations. The study was carried out in various regions of Kashmir valley that were purposefully chosen to have the most area under apple cultivation. The study used a multistage sampling procedure. The study found that the mean knowledge index of apple growers in district Shopian was 51.75 percent, followed by the apple growers in district Baramulla (46.76%) and the least mean knowledge index (41.36%) was found among the apple growers of district Budgam. However, the overall mean knowledge index from all three districts was 46.62 percent. The study also found that apple growers’ knowledge index is determined by age, experience, education, media exposure, innovative proneness, scientific orientation, and risk orientation. Furthermore, apple growers need to follow innovative techniques and technologies to increase the production and productivity of apple fruit, maximize returns, and ensure food security.
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