Luscious, Crunchy, Himachal Apples Tastier But Costlier

SHIMLA: Big, crunchy and luscious apples from Himachal Pradesh are tastier this time, but they are going to pinch your wallet more.

State horticulture department estimates say the state is expected to produce 25-30 percent less apples this season compared to last year's bumper production of over 32.2 million boxes.

Experts attribute the low output to the prolonged winter spell and lack of adequate rainfall when the apple crop was ripening between May and June.

The hill state is one of India's major apple-producing regions, with more than 90 percent of the produce going to the domestic market.

"The harvesting of apples, though delayed by a week or two, has started and it would pick up speed by the middle of August. As per our estimate, around 10,000 to 15,000 boxes are coming daily at different markets in the state," horticulture department director Gurdev Singh told IANS.

Trade representatives say initial market trends indicate the price of apples will remain higher throughout the season.

Currently, they say, the crop is coming from the lower altitudes (less than 6,000 ft) of Shimla, Kullu and Mandi districts. In the middle reaches, where the crop is moderate but the quality is good, fruit plucking will start by Aug 15 and will continue till September.

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Source: IANS