Warmer temperatures and a decrease in winter snowfall due to global warming are being blamed by horticulture and environmental experts for decrease in apple production in Himachal Pradesh, as harvests have fallen in recent years.
According to state Horticulture department officials, while annual production of apple was 2.96 crore boxes (one box contains about 20-22 kgs of apple) in 2007-2008, it came down to 2.55 crore boxes in 2008-2009. The estimated production in the current year 2009-10 is around 1.40 crore boxes.
Himachal Pradesh produces more than one-third of total apple production in the country.
Environmental experts say the climatic changes due to global warming has affected apple production in the state, making apple cultivation unsustainable at a height lower than 5,750 feet. Environmentalist emphasised on the adverse impact of climatic change on apple production.
According to horticulture experts of the state, due to fall in apple production in its traditional belt in upper Shimla district and Kullu valley, experiments are being done to grow it in newer areas at higher altitudes.