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Ripe for change: Kashmir apple orchards get modern overhaul

Some farmers switch to high-density planting to help profits grow

A grower picks apples from tightly packed trees in a Kashmir orchard. High-density planting is increasingly popular in the region. (Photo by Kaleem Geelani) 

SRINAGAR, Kashmir -- To the untrained eye, the bucolic apple orchards that dot Kashmir look much the same as they have for decades: shady, tranquil, verdant and lush.

But the winds of change are starting to blow through the area, with trees in some places packed more thickly than ever as a swelling number of growers make the switch to high-density planting.

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