Summer heat and floods wipe out farms in Pakistan's chilli capital

Kunri is a southern Pakistani town that is widely known as Asia's chilli capital. However, floods that have wreaked havoc across Pakistan in August and September, on the back of several years of high temperatures, have left chilli farmers struggling to cope.

Pakistan is ranked fourth in the world for chilli production, with 60,700 hectares of farms producing 143,000 tons annually. Agriculture forms the backbone of Pakistan's economy, leaving it vulnerable to climate change.

Dr. Attaullah Khan, director of the Arid Zone Research Centre at Pakistan's Agricultural Research Council, stated that heatwaves over the past three years had affected the growth of chilli crops in the area, causing diseases that curled their leaves and stunted their growth.

In Kunri's bustling wholesale chilli market, Mirch Mandi, the effects are being felt. Though mounds of bright red chilli are seen around the market, traders said there is a huge drop compared to previous years.


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