Apple season almost over in Himachal

Shimla, Nov 3 (IANS) The apple season in Himachal Pradesh is almost over with more than four crore boxes sold to markets across the country, an official said here Wednesday.

The state has made a record production of 4.2 crore boxes of 20 kg each this year. Last year, the production was almost three times less — 1.4 crore boxes.

‘The season is almost over with the transportation of entire crop from apple-growing areas in Shimla, Mandi and Kullu districts to various markets,’ Horticulture Director Gurdev Singh told IANS.

He said now only a small chunk of the crop is left in high-altitude areas of Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti districts.

‘This year’s crop was all-time high due to favourable weather throughout the season. The farmers got good prices despite bumper crop,’ he added.

In 2007, the apple production in the state was 2.6 crore boxes.

Adani Agrifresh has procured 8.25 lakh crates of apples, almost double than last year’s.

‘Most of the fruit has been procured from more than 10,000 farmers directly. The high-quality fruit from Kinnaur was procured at Rs.44 per kg,’ Adani’s Deputy General Manager Sanjay Mahajan said.

The company has three stores at Rampur, Sainj and Rohru in the state.

The Kothgarh-Thanedar apple belt in Shimla district is the prominent apple belt in the state.

Apple is the main fruit crop of the state and is being grown in nine out of 12 districts. Apple fruit accounts for about 40 percent of the total area under all fruit crop cultivation.

Besides apple, other fruits like pears, peaches, cherries, apricots, kiwi, strawberry, olive, almonds and plums are the major commercial crops of the state.

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