Kashmiri apple farmers witness how snow decimates crops

For the third year in a row, Kashmiri farmers will lose half their harvest to early snows. This might mean that domestic apples are in danger of becoming a rarity in India. Early snowfalls in Kashmir, where almost 80% of India’s apples are grown, have seen the region’s farmers lose half their crops. Officials are trying to calculate the loss to the apple industry, which contributes almost a third – 50 billion rupees (£500m) – to the local economy annually.

Researchers have warned that orchards in the Kashmir valley, which is ringed by the Greater Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountains, are likely to become unsustainable in the next few years, as the climate crisis affects production. The last 20 years have seen gradual changes in weather patterns in the region, which have intensified in the past five years. This is the third year harvests have been affected by early and heavier snowfalls in the Kashmir valley.

According to Kashmir’s department of horticulture, 5bn rupees were lost from harvests in 2018. This rose to 22.5bn rupees in 2019, which saw the heaviest snowfall Kashmir has experienced in 60 years.

Source: theguardian.com

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