Shimla, Himachal Pradesh: The impact of climate change is already having a severe impact on the apple orchards of Himachal Pradesh, warmer winters have meant a drastic fall in the apple crop.
Just half a decade ago this part of Himachal produced among the best apples in the land, orchards here would supply to the rest of the country and several lakh tonnes would be exported every year. But today, most of the apple orchard owners are in despair, warm winter months have had a severe impact.
"For the past five years there has been no snow, very mild snowfall out here whereas the snowfall should start in November and throughout the winter there should be snow," Chauhan, apple grower.
"Six-seven years ago, in the same orchard I used to produce 5000-6000 boxes of apples but this year I haven't managed even 1500-1600 boxes in the orchard," Chauhan added.
"If there's no snowfall this winter, then it will be havoc for the farming community here," said Lokinder, another apple farmer.
The next big impact of climate change is forcing hundreds of farmers to rethink their plantation methods. In fact, they're moving towards organic farming in the hope to meet their current environmental challenges and more importantly, leaving a greener future for their children.
To take on the challenges of a changing environment, many farmers have gone organic and the difference is already visible.
"After I turned to organic farming , it has benefitted us," said Gopal Mehta, a farmer.
Whether the warmer winter is due to global warming is still being debated but for now it's the farmers whose very survival depends on it.
Story first published:
November 24, 2009 00:36 IST