Irregular Rains Damage Cherry Orchards In Kashmir

The Climate Crisis is affecting all of us in myriad ways. From arctic glaciers melting at an alarming rate to changes in rain patterns to flash floods, all these are a part of this phenomenon. In this video, the Community Correspondent Basharat Amin talked to a few Cherry farmers in Shopian district of Kashmir specifically asking them about the effects of unusual rains in their orchards.

This highly lucrative fruit Cherries are harvested from Mid-May to the first week of July. But this year, the rains have almost destroyed 80% of their produce. The harvesting season of cherries is important because it provides an additional income to farmers as all the other fruits in Kashmir Valley are harvested in autumn. According to farmers, they get mid-year income through Cherrie plantations which helps them in bearing expenses till autumn.

From around 2017 they were witnessing a decline in production due to frequent rains at the end of the spring, but the Government intervened and helped the farmers by providing them high density varieties, but this year is particularly worse, as the rains were irregular and came pretty early to the valley.

Now, there are almost 10 varieties of cherries they plant, with names such as Double, Makhmali, Italy etc. These new varieties of cherries are better at resisting the rain than the earlier ones, yet they could not withstand this year's rains. According to the official data, the last two years, 2020 and 2021, were excellent for cherry production as the weather remained pleasant.

The farmers mentioned that the frequent rains during the preceding weeks had led to cracks in their produce - they will not be able to sell these spoiled cherries. Other countries use high-density rain covers in their orchards, so they are requesting the government to help them with this facility. The Government offers 25% subsidies on transportation of cherries. 

Hope sharing this video will help us to understand the gravity of this Climate Crisis in every sphere of our existence, from agriculture to weather patterns.

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