Luscious, Crunchy, Himachal Apples Tastier But Costlier

"This year, prices are almost 25-30 percent higher compared to last year," Partap Chauhan, a wholesaler at the Dhalli apple market near here, told IANS.

Early varieties such as Red June, Summer Queen and Tydeman's Early Worcester, though inferior in quality, are reaching markets in Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi and commanding good prices, he added.

Superior grades like Royal Delicious, Red Chief, Super Chief, Oregon Spur and Scarlet Spur have also started arriving but the supply would only pick up by the middle of August.

Tydeman's Early Worcester is currently being sold in Dhalli for up to 1,000 a box of 22.5 kg, almost 200-300 higher than last year, Chauhan said.

He said a box of Royal Delicious is fetching between 1,200 and 2,400 a box in Dhalli, while it was around 1,600 last year. Likewise Spur varieties are getting up to 3,000 a box.

The price of a crate increases by 50-100 in the Delhi and Chandigarh wholesale markets.

Suresh Shandil, an apple grower in Chailla in upper Shimla, said: "The yield is less this season, we can say 25 to 30 percent, but the quality of the fruit is quite healthy."

Giri Bahadur, a caretaker of an orchard in Sharontha in Rohru tehsil of Shimla district, one of the prominent apple belts, said the crop still required 15-20 days to mature.

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Source: IANS