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Himachal seeks grants for overhauling fruit grading units

Shimla, Feb 23 (Calcutta Tube) Himachal Pradesh has requested the central government to provide liberal grants for overhauling fruit grading and packaging houses in the state, a statement said here Tuesday.

‘State Horticulture Minister Narinder Bragta met Agricultural Products Export Development Authority chairman Aasit Tiwari in New Delhi Monday and urged him to provide liberal financial assistance for modernising grading and packaging houses located in Shimla, Kinnaur and Kullu districts,’ the statement quoted Bragta as saying.

Bragta said the packaging and grading houses, set up a long time ago, needed immediate modernisation to meet the demands of the fruit growers.

Himachal Pradesh is one of India’s major apple-producing regions, with more than 200,000 families engaged in the cultivation of the fruit.

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

The economy of the hill state is highly dependent on horticulture, with the annual fruit industry being worth about Rs.2,000 crore (Rs.20 billion).

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