Heatwave conditions and the absence of pre-monsoon rain have affected two major fruit crops in India: apples and oranges.

While the apple crop in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir is estimated to be down by 25% from last year, orange production in Nagpur and Amaravati in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra is expected to fall by 25-30%, according to farmers.

Prices will likely remain high for both fruits as their availability will be less, adding to the accelerating food inflation. On Wednesday, the Reserve Bank of India raised its projection of retail inflation for the current fiscal year to 6.7% from the 5.7% it had forecast in April.

“The high temperature prevailing and the heatwave have affected the apple crop in the fruit development stage. This month is very crucial for the growth of the fruit. But still the temperature is too high,” said Ravinder Chauhan, president of the Apple Growers Association of India.

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