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Apple Production to Halve in Himachal & J&K Due to Heavy Rains

The Indian government and concerned authorities are closely monitoring the situation and will likely step in to provide support and assistance to the affected apple farmers.

Shivam Dwivedi
Apple Production to Halve in Himachal & J&K Due to Heavy Rains (Photo Source: Pixabay)
Apple Production to Halve in Himachal & J&K Due to Heavy Rains (Photo Source: Pixabay)

Northern and northwestern India have been experiencing heavy rains since the past weekend, causing considerable damage to apple plantations in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.

This unfortunate development is likely to result in a considerable decline in apple production in the country's two major apple-growing regions, potentially reducing output by at least half for the current season, according to statements from distressed farmers. Ravinder Chauhan, president of the Apple Growers Association of India, stated that the unrelenting rains had rendered it impossible for the growers to access their fields. As a result, they were unable to assess the full extent of the destruction.

He further added that due to the rains, the growers were not able to visit the fields. According to their estimate, this year's apple production would be halved. However, the actual loss could only be determined once the rain ceased and the growers were able to visit the apple orchards to evaluate the situation.

Kashmir valley, which contributes approximately 75% of the total 2.1-2.9 million tonnes of apples produced in India annually, is experiencing a particularly devastating blow. Apple growers from this region stated that their production for the current season is likely to be less than half of the previous year due to the relentless torrential rains.

Similarly, apple production in Himachal Pradesh is also expected to be halved this season, with an estimated output of only 15 million boxes, each weighing 22 kg, due to the damages caused by the heavy downpour.

As a result of the significant drop in domestic apple production, traders have been forced to seek alternative sources. Apples from Turkey have become a crucial replacement in the market, leading to a surge in prices. Within the last 10 days, prices for Turkish apples have skyrocketed from Rs125 per kg to Rs200 per kg.

The situation has been exacerbated by landslides and flash floods in the northwestern region, which further halted apple supplies from Kashmir and Himachal. Sanjay Pansare, the director (fruit) at the Mumbai Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC), conveyed that the market currently offers only apples from Turkey.

According to Rashid Ratar, an apple grower from Sopore in Baramulla district of Jammu & Kashmir, the ongoing rainy weather is causing additional distress for apple growers. He expressed his concerns by stating that more rains result in more miseries for them.

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