THE food inflation might be worrying the consumer, but apple prices are currently 35-40% less than the previous year, hovering at Rs 35-50 a kg in the retail market. Apart from the low quality of fruit, the availability of the mango crop in the market is also curtailing the price of apple.

Charanjit Ahuja

Chandigarh: Last week's hailstorm in many parts of Himachal Pradesh has damaged apple crop in large tracts of land. According to input received from apple growers, scientists and horticulture officials, the hail storm not only damaged fruit but also apple tree leaves and spur.

Hem Lata Verma

Nearly a century after it brought in an unprecedented boom in apple cultivation in Himachal Pradesh, Kotgarh in Shimla district is set to usher in yet another era of sweeping horticulture reforms.

Shimla: With barely 10 per cent of the work having been completed on the Theog-Kotkhai-Hatkoti-Rohru road being executed by the Chinese Longijian Road and Construction Company, apple growers are a worried lot despite expectations of a bumper crop.

Farmers in Jammu and Kashmir

Mandi/Kullu: High temperature and drought has started giving heartburns to apple farmers who own orchards in the south sunny face as they are facing moth attack on the fruit crop since last week. This has damaged almost 10-20 per cent of crop in some drought-hit areas in Churag-Karsog in Mandi, Dalash-Nirman-Jaban in Kullu and Chopal, Jubbal-Kotkhai, lower Kotgarh-Kumarsain in Shimla district.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal plans to replicate Israel's success in apple cultivation in his state. "With no snowfall and much lesser rain than us, they produce 50 tonnes of apple per hectare.We produce one-fifth of it, " he says. Apple production dropped almost to half in the last season while prices rose to around Rs 100 per kg.

Unfavourable weather conditions over the past one year took a heavy toll of the apple crop with the total production declining by over 45 per cent as compared to last year.

This study conducted during January- March, 2007, in the Kullu Valley of Himachal Pradesh in India, takes the apple as an indicator crop to investigate the positive and negative effects of climate change on farm economy. It explores the impacts it had on the agricultural economy of the hill farmers who were forced to abandon apple farming, and those to whom apple farming came to be a new option.


THE Centre's decision to insist on employment visa for Chinese workers in India has upset the government of Himachal Pradesh where, in the Theog-Rohru apple cultivation belt, Chinese workers and engineer have been made to stop work on a road project, key t the shelf life of the state's famed produce.