Dharamsala (Dec 7): In the current apple, season Himachal Pradesh has made a record production, trading more than four crore apple cartons in markets across the country. While replying to a query raised by Kaul Sigh (Cong. Darang), Anil Kumar (Cong-Mandi) and Gangu Ram (Cong-Pachhad), horticulture minister Narender Bragta said in a written reply in the state assembly today that the state registered apples production of 4.46 crore boxes, weighing 20 kg each, and it was a record in itself. Bragta said, “On an average, farmers earned Rs 722.81 as sale price per box.”
Himachal Pradesh Agriculture Marketing Board collected Rs 11.93 crore revenue on account of market fee being collected at the rate of Rs 3.23 per box. Under the market intervention scheme (MIS), the government also procured apples worth Rs 58.32 crore directly from the farmers for processing and making manure through vermicompost. Last year the production was almost three times less — 1.4 crore boxes.
While replying to another query raised by Sohan Lal (Cong-Kasumpti) Bragta claimed that the state has a potential to cold store 16,450 metric tonne apples. He said that six cold storage facilities were available at Parwanoo with 3000 MT capacity, Aodi, Jarol-Tikkar, Rohru, Gumma and Patlikuhal with 1,000 MT capacity each.
He said that untill November 20, 2010 about 1,31603 apple boxes have been kept in cold storage facilities being run by Himachal Processing and Marketing Corporation (HPMC). He disclosed that 82,453 apple boxes were being stored at Parwanoo, 41,243 boxes at Dehli and about 3,950 boxes each at Aodi and Patlikuhal apple cold stores. He said that apple cold stores at Jarol, Rohru, Gumma, Mumbai and Chennai were not being utilized by the farmers as they were getting good prices of apple in the market.