Negotiamini Media
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Climate change upsets India’s apple cart


SRINAGAR : Adnan Khan’s apple crop is ruined this year. The 33-year-old farmer from Pinjoora village in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district, 60 km south of Srinagar, waited longer than his neighbours to start harvesting, and is paying a big price for it. Heavy, unseasonal snowfall in the last week of October across Kashmir valley wreaked havoc on his orchard, bringing down tree branches laden with fruit and even uprooting some of the trees, apart from covering much of the standing crop with frost. The 10 labourers Khan had hired to help with his harvesting instead spent days cleaning up and repairing the damage as best as they could.

“About 40% of my produce was destroyed by the untimely snowfall,” he said. “The apple crop is sensitive, and in the last few years, environmental changes like inconsistent rainfall, decreased water availability from rivers, excessively high summer temperatures and early snowfall have been repeatedly affecting my yields. Even the taste, colour and shape of my apples are no longer what they used to be.”

Apple prices vary according to the grade of the fruit, and declining quality—a downgrade from ‘A’ to ‘B’ or ‘C’—had been adding to the pressure on his bottom […]

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