By : Mohan Verma
Fragrance of early variety of Himahcal Pradesh apple scented North Indian fruit and vegetable markets. As many as 60,000 boxes have been traded in beginning of season as this fruit contributes more than Rs. 3,500 crore to state economy.
Talking to media, State Agriculture Market Proceed Corporation (APMPC) chairman Dr. Subash Manglate told that ‘tideman’ is the main apple variety which is already found in the state market yards at Shimla, Solan and Kullu.
He said that as many as 50,000 boxes (each box containing about 25 kg) of apple has been already sold at APMPC vegetable and fruit yard at Dhalli Mandi so far. Each box are being getting price band of Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1500 at Shimla and Rs. 1200 to Rs. 1800 in the rest North Indian market.
The state having about 1.03 lakh hectare area under apple, produce more than 4 lakh metric tonnes of apple crop which is mostly consumed in the local markets.
12 percent of the state apple comes from three tribal districts of Kinnaur, Lahaul & Spiti and Chamba which is considered of high quality but witnessed in the market soon after the apple season in the rest of state gets over. The taste and food value of tribal apple is incomparable and it fetches Rs. 500 to Rs. 700 more of each box.
The apple contributes to 15 percent of state economy as along with tourism it is the backbone of hill economy. The APMC Dhalli also look after sale of vegetables as currently cabbage and tomato is being supplied to other North Indian markets from district Shimla, Kullu and Solan.
Hailing the state government new ordinance to intervening and controlling the weight of apple boxes after tabing it to not exceed above 22.50 kilogram is being implemented by APMC soon after enforcement of this legislations, Mr. Manglate said.