Luscious, Crunchy, Himachal Apples Tastier But Costlier

Upper Shimla areas, which account for 80 percent of the total apple production, are now seeing congenial weather with plentiful rainfall.

The state government this time has notified that each carton will contain 22.5 kg of apples, while half a carton will contain 11 kg fruit. This includes the weight of the carton. Earlier it was a 20 kg box.

Traders say the other factor that led to a hike in apple prices this time is the enhancement of freight charges by truckers by 12 percent.

Horticulture is a vital sector in the state's economy as it generates more than 3,200 crore annual income.

To attract private investment the state allows the private investors to get land at a token lease money of Re.1 for setting up controlled atmosphere stores in the rural areas.

Apple alone constitutes about 93 percent of the total fruit produce in the state.

Surveys of the state horticulture department show the productivity of apple ranges from 6 to 11.5 tonnes per hectare in the state, in comparison to 35 to 40 tonnes per hectare in more advanced countries.

The area under apple cultivation in Himachal Pradesh has increased from 3,025 hectares in 1960-61 to 106,440 hectares in 2012-13, which constitutes more than 49 percent of the total area under fruit cultivation.

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Source: IANS