Govt kicks off pre-harvest measures for transportation of apple



Shimla: Expecting a bumper apple crop, the state government has kicked off steps for transportation and marketing of the fruit by convening a high-level meeting on May 21 at Armsdale Building in the Secretariat to finalize arrangements for the season.

The meeting, called by, horticulture minister Narinder Bragta, will be attended by senior Officers of horticulture department, HPMC, Agro Industries Corporation, Himfed, Agriculture Marketing Board, PWD, State Transport Authority, deputy commissioners of Shimla, Mandi, Kinnaur, Kullu and sub-divisional officers of apple-growing areas. The prominent issues in the agenda include maintenance of roads in apple-growing areas, arrangement for transportation, ensuring timely availability of package material to the growers and also ensuring proper marketing.

This year Rs 85 crore apple rejuvenation scheme is being started so as to replace the senile root stock with new quality plantation. In order to save the crop from hail, an anti-hail gun and radar is being set up at Kharapathar on a pilot basis. The state government has also brought apple and mango under Crop Insurance Scheme on a pilot basis from last year. During the last apple season, the state had registered 150 million apple boxes in the market, which is likely to exceed this years. About two lakh house holds depend on the Rs 2,000 crore apple driven economy in five districts of the hill state.

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