The man who has introduced low-cost, high-production alternative to costly high-density apple plantation in Himachal and Kashmir, Ram Lal Chauhan has demonstrated that farmers no longer need to destroy their old trees. Although techniques like these are being used by some farmers in Kashmir, his distinct low-cost methodology is making old apple trees more productive with better fruit.

Experts believe that if farmers in Kashmir embrace these methodologies of grafting, old trees could become, as shown by Mr Chauhan, as productive as such trees are in advanced countries. One of the benefits of this technique is that any type of high-yielding, high-quality type can be grown on old trees.

Here we produce the excerpts of Ram Lal Chauhan’s exclusive conversation with Ziraat Times:

I am thankful to Ziraat Times for giving me so much of respect and publishing my thoughts regarding my technology adopted for apple farming.
I have introduced some new techniques to apple farmers in Himachal, Kashmir and Uttarakhand to transform old apple plants into high colour varieties by doing top working.
Within two years old apple plants look young that gives high yield ,high colour ,good size and shape.
Top working done on seedling plants give better quality colour and size compared to rootstock plants.
Farmers do not need to cut entire old orchard established by our beloved fathers and fore fathers to put new high density plantations. It’s very expensive job and poor farmers can’t afford that.
Lot of farmers from Kashmir visited my orchard to learn this technology and are now doing excellent work in Kashmir.
Kashmir soil is better than us in Himachal.
I am asking all Kashmiri farmers to top work for four to five plants every year and see the results.
In 2014 I have given my presentation at CITH regarding top working (how to turn old apple plants into high colour varieties by doing top working to give new look).
I have received 8 national and 140 state and regional awards on modern apple and pear farming.
Any help that Kashmiri farmers and government would require from me I will be always available.

I believe top-work grafting will produce more quality than high density apple plants – Shahnawaz Khan (Pinjura shopian)

I am doing top work Grafting on old traditional tress into high colour strains from 2016 like Jeromine, Washington (shellet super), ss2, Supercheif, and some gala varieties.
I have also planted 13 kanals of land with high density plants but their results are yet to come. I find it very easy to do top work grafting on our own traditional old orchards. I also believe it will produce more quality than high density plants
I am learning this technology from one of the leading orchadists from Himachal Pradesh, Ram Lal Chauhan.
My Garmin type pears sold at Rs 900 per 10 kg box.
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