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| Last Updated:: 25/09/2014

‘Global Warming’ Knocks Down Apple Production

 Considering the scope for fruit cultivation on step farms, apple growing was encouraged in the Chamba-Mussoorie fruit belt. But, of late, global warming has reduced the sweetness of apples. The prolonged Government apathy and the dwindling  production in the region has put a question mark on the prospects of apple growing as a viable means of livelihood.


The apple orchards from the area were encouraged from the time the region was a part of Uttar Pradesh. The then UP Government had developed the Chamba Mussoorie fruit belt where the orchardists were given about 200 hectare lands on lease. Today, the area has expanded to 900 hectares. There was a good production of apple too from the area.


But due to global warming, the apple yield keeps on decreasing, landing the orchardists in the throes of grim livelihood crisis.  However, the apple grown in the fruit belt had good demand in the markets of Delhi, Varanasi  and other places.


However, according to the statistics available with the weather department in Ranichauri, over the past 30 years, the temperature had increased by 1 degree Celsius and a similar increase was observed in the carbon di-oxide level, which had crossed 350 PPM (parts per million). The department said that the level should be less that 200 PPM.


Agriculturist Narendar Singh claims that due to the changing climate and rising mercury, the apple growing as a means of livelihood is being reduced to one that incurs loss. The occurrence of snowfall is becoming less and on the other, the hail destroys the crops putting the livelihood into jeopardy. Dr RG Upadhyay, weather scientist, Ranichauri said that in past 30 years, the temperature has risen by one degree Celsius. Due to rising pollution, the CO2 level is rising correspondingly in the atmosphere. Due to this, apple and other fruit species are not getting the temperature conducive to their full growth. DS Negi, horticulture mobile team in-charge, Chamba said that during the winter, the apple crop needs below 4 degree Celsius temperature for about 1200-1400 hours. For this, the snowfall is  necessary. But it is not occurring in the area as required.


To meet the challenge, the orchardists have begun planting progressive varieties like spur, red chief, organ spur, anna among others by way of maintaining livelihood.