Erratic weather conditions this year are taking a toll on vegetable produce in Kashmir. Farmers across Kashmir claim that the hot and humid climate followed by rains has sprouted diseases in several vegetables this year due to which the produce is getting damaged. They said that due to erratic weather conditions, diseases have sprouted in tomatoes, collards, chilis, beans and other vegetables thereby affecting the quality and quantity.
Due to erratic weather, these crops are developing are black spots and vegetables are yellowing and in some cases plants are also drying up. One farmer from Pulwama said that this year it rains almost every day, however, temperature remains high as well which leads to sprouting of diseases in crops.
Thekashmiriyat.co.uk reports that the weather has also affected sun drying of vegetables. Officials said that diseases are sprouting because of climate change as moisture along with humidity is high.
Fruit growers and traders operating from Sopore Fruit Mandi have alleged that the government has failed miserably to boost the industry, saying top quality apples are not getting the right prices. Apple cultivation is one of the mainstays of livelihood to about 3.5 million people and contributes about Rs80 bln (€960 mln) to the region. Kashmir produces about two million tons of apples and almost two-thirds of it goes to outside markets.
The Sopore Fruit Mandi President, Fayaz Ahmad Malik, echoed the same saying the sector has been facing a crisis for the last few years: “For the last few years, our expenses have increased due to which our business is affected.”