Himachal Pradesh – Farmers in India are being asked to adopt a new variety of the apple fruit that adapts well to the constant changes in weather patterns in the low and high altitude areas. Farmers in the states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand have been forced to adopt a variety of the fruit that matures faster as cultivation of the plant shifts to high altitudes.
The effects of global warming are being felt far and wide, not only in the form of increased temperatures and reduction of the snowfall in the Arctic and the Antarctic but also in terms of changing farming practices in various parts of the world.
President of Sev Utpadak Sangh attests that it is becoming extremely difficult to grow traditional varieties in the lower altitudes that usually have a high maturing time.
Unpredictable weather conditions as a result of global warming are making it extremely impossible to rely on the traditional variety. Scientists are now advising farmers to adopt the low-chilling varieties of the apple tree that performs well on the changes in weather patterns.
The new varieties are developed using rootstock and clones, might taste different to what consumers are used to, but Singh affirms they are good enough for the palate.
The low-chilling varieties of the apple tree mature early compared to the traditional varieties coming hand in hand with a lower chilling requirement. Central Institute of Temperature Horticulture CITH Director. Nazeer Ahmad believes the lower chilling varieties could go a long way in mitigating the impact of climate change and ensure there is a constant supply in the market.
The effects of global warming should continue to be more evident in the years to come as pollution that comes with robust industrialization continues to be rampant. Winter seasons are becoming warmer than two to three decades an indication of why farmers need to be adaptive to modern farming practices.