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UTTARAKHAND’S SHRINKING APPLE ORCHARDS



  Jun 05, 2024

UTTARAKHAND’S SHRINKING APPLE ORCHARDS



SIMPLIFIER

1. What is happening to Uttarakhand’s apple orchards?
Uttarakhand’s apple orchards are shrinking due to the impacts of climate change, which has led to a significant decline in the yield of major fruit crops.

2. What fruits were previously abundant in Uttarakhand?
Uttarakhand was once a leading producer of pear, peach, plum, apricot, and high-quality apples.

3. What are the main climatic changes affecting fruit production in Uttarakhand?
The average temperature in Uttarakhand has increased at an annual rate of 0.02 degrees Celsius, with higher elevations experiencing even greater warming. This has led to warmer winters, reduced snowfall, and altered precipitation patterns.

4. How have these climatic changes affected fruit production?
Warmer winters and reduced snowfall prevent temperate fruit trees from getting the necessary chilling hours required for proper flowering and fruit development, leading to reduced yields.

5. What are the statistics on the decline in fruit cultivation and yield?
• The area under fruit cultivation decreased from 177,323.5 hectares in 2016-2017 to 81,692.58 hectares in 2022-2023, a 54% decline.
• The total fruit yield dropped from 662,847.11 metric tonnes in 2016-2017 to 369,447.3 metric tonnes in 2022-2023, a 44% decline.

6. Which fruits have been most affected by these changes?
Temperate fruits like pear, apricot, plum, and walnut have seen the most significant declines. Apple production area reduced from 25,201.58 hectares in 2016-2017 to 11,327.33 hectares in 2022-2023.

7. How are farmers adapting to these changes?
Farmers are shifting to tropical fruits and low-chilling cultivars that are better suited to the warmer climate. For instance, there is an increase in the production of guava and gooseberry, and experimentation with crops like kiwi, pomegranate, and high-density mango cultivation.

8. What are the suggested measures to address the decline in horticulture?
• Develop and adopt climate-resilient varieties and management practices.
• Implement climate financing to support farmers.
• Provide village-level agromet advisory services for better preparedness and decision-making.


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