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25 Million Boxes of Apples Sold in Himachal Pradesh

The apple season in Himachal Pradesh -- the fruit bowl of the country -- is almost over, with over 25 million boxes sold out, an official said Friday.

Published: 24th October 2014 01:28 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th October 2014 01:28 PM   |  A+A-

By IANS

SHIMLA: The apple season in Himachal Pradesh, the fruit bowl of the country -- is almost over, with over 25 million boxes sold out, an official said Friday.

About four to five lakh boxes of 22.5 kg each are yet to be marketed.

"The apple season is almost over," horticulture department director Gurdev Singh told IANS.

The total production this season would be considerably less than last year's bumper output of over 32.2 million boxes (8 lakh tonnes), he added.

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.

Said Ram Kumar Negi, a farmer from Kalpa village in Kinnaur: "Harvesting is on these days. Farmers are getting good prices despite low production compared to the last year. Most of the crop is headed to big markets like Chandigarh and Delhi."

Traders in the Dhalli apple market near here said the apples that had been stored by farmers were now reaching the market.

"We are mainly getting apples from upper Shimla these days but the supply is poor. Most apples from Kinnaur are either directly procured by agro commodities trading houses and traders or go to Delhi and Mumbai," apple merchant Pratap Chauhan said.

Agro commodities trading house Adani Agrifresh has procured 22,500 tonnes of apples this season.

"This year the procurement rate was comparatively higher than last year's," senior official Manager Sanjay Mahajan said.

Last year, Adani company procured 21,000 tonnes.

Besides Adani, other prominent private trading houses like Concor's Fresh and Healthy, Mahindra and Mahindra and Dev Bhoomi also procured apples.

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.

Apples accounted for 90 percent of the Rs.35 billion the state earned last year from the sale of horticultural produce.

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