Three crore apple boxes sold in Himachal

Shimla, Oct 18 (IANS) The apple season in Himachal Pradesh — the fruit bowl of the country — is about to be over with over three crore boxes sold, an official said on Sunday.

About 40 to 50 lakh boxes of 20 kg each are yet to be marketed.

More than three crore apple boxes have been exported to various markets from the state, said a spokesperson for the horticulture department.

He said 31,758 metric tonnes of apple had been procured under the market intervention scheme by the Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Produce, Marketing and Processing Corporation and the Himachal Pradesh State Co-operative Marketing and Consumers Federation Ltd.

According to him, a chunk of the remaining crop is currently coming from high altitude areas of Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti districts.

The harvesting of high quality, delicious and luscious apples from the Chango, Ribba and Namgiya valleys of Kinnaur and Hurling in Lahaul and Spiti, which command a virtual monopoly in India, is on these days.

Himachal Pradesh’s fruit economy generates around Rs.3,500 crore ($55 million) per year and apples alone constitute 89 percent of this.

Most of the apples are grown in Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur and Chamba districts.

The normal apple yield in the state is 2.50 crore boxes or 500,000 tonnes.

This year’s apple production of around 3.50 crore boxes is fairly larger than the last year’s production of around 2.90 crore boxes.

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.

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