New Zealand's billion-dollar apple industry is facing threats from warmer winters, potentially disrupting tree flowering and fruit production. Scientists are developing new apple tree varieties resilient to climate change, aiming to maintain the industry's projected value of USD 2 billion by 2030. Insufficient chilling hours, essential for bud break and subsequent flowering and fruit development, pose risks to orchards. To address this, researchers are collecting and testing apple tree samples to identify resilient varieties. However, breeding resilient varieties requires balancing reduced chilling requirements with increased heat resistance.
Despite increased global demand, Polish apple exporters are facing logistical challenges, particularly in transportation to non-European markets like South America, India, and the Far East. Ongoing disruptions in the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aden hamper timely deliveries, leading to confusion and tension in the industry. COVID-19 also caused transportation disruptions to persist, causing delays in fulfilling orders and diminishing apple quality during transit. Fluctuations in the Polish zloty's exchange rate against the euro and dollar also impact profitability. Despite these hurdles, the Polish apple sector remains resilient, exploring new markets and investing in cold storage facilities. The recent decision by the Belarus Council of Ministers, to lift restrictions on fresh apple imports from Poland, could positively impact Polish traders. Allowing sales to Belarus from April 1 to July 31, 2024, will ease challenges at the end of the 2024 fresh apple export season.
The recent snowfall and rain in Uttarakhand, India, has alleviated the prolonged dry spell, safeguarding the apple crop in the upper Himalayan region. The meteorological department predicts a temperature drop of 4-5 degrees Celsius due to the continuing precipitation. The snowfall covers various districts, including Chamoli, Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag, Tehri, and Dehradun, benefiting prominent locations like Badrinath, Hemkund Sahib, and Nanda Devi National Park. The welcomed change in weather is a relief for agricultural key concerns in the region.