Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh government will start apple procurement from August 1 at 233 centers to be established for the purpose. The government plans to buy 50,000 metric tonne apple under the Mandi Intervention Scheme this year through agencies like Himfed, HPMC and also the horticulture department. The minimum support price for apple has been fixed at Rs 4.75, which is 50 paise more than last year. The annual apple production is expected to be around 2.5 boxes this year. The government is also making arrangements with transporters in other states to make sure that the apple gets lifted on time.