Himachal seeks incentives for fruit processing industry

Shimla, Feb 22 (Calcutta Tube) Himachal Pradesh, one of India’s major apple-producing regions, has requested the central government to set up an apple juice concentrate plant in Shimla district and extend special incentives to the state’s fruit processing industry, an official statement said here Monday.

‘Horticulture Minister Narinder Bragta has met Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Subodh Kant Sahai and requested him to set up an apple juice concentrate plant at Pragatinagar in Shimla district,’ the statement quoted Bragta as saying.

‘The fruit processing industry should also be encouraged and special assistance should be given to the state on the pattern of the northeastern states for establishing fruit processing plants under the Cold Chain Infrastructure scheme of the food processing ministry,’ he said.

More than 90 percent of Himachal Pradesh’s apple produce goes to the domestic market.

The area under apple crop has increased to 94,726 hectares in 2007-08 – from 400 hectares in 1960-61.

The state’s apple economy is pegged at around Rs.1,500 crore, with Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Lahaul and Spiti, Kinnaur and Chamba districts being the hubs.

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