Apple orchards vanish in Mustang villages due to climate change

MUSTANG: Apple orchards have completely vanished in Lete and Kunzjo VDCs in Mustang, the Himalayan district known as the capital of apple farming.

It is said that no any apple has been produced in the two VDCs for the past six years. Experts have associated this incident as the direct impact of climate change.

Planning Officer at the District Agricultural Development Office, Mustang, Tapta Bahadur Gurung, said that apple plants cannot grow in both the VDCs in the recent times though apple farming was possible even in the border areas of Myagdi and Mustang districts until some years ago.

"The apple farmers are really worried to the situation in the VDCs. Now, the apple orchards don't exist there though the VDCs were considered as the pocket areas for apple farming in the past," Gurung said.

Even the apple trees cannot grow well due to unfavourable climate, he added.

Currently, the office has considered Marpha, Tukuche, Jomsom, Kagbeni and some other VDCs as the pocket areas for apple farming.

Senior Agricultural Development Officer Sabitri Baral said that climate change was the root cause for this to happen.

"Apple trees are vanishing in the lowlands while they have yielded fruits in the highlands though the apple trees could not grow due to excessive cold in the upper belt of Mustang in the past," Baral shared.