Apples are the source of earning of the Agriculturists in Shimla, Kullu & Kinnaur. Every year, growers produce tons of apples, but do not get good prices for their crops. Apples from Himachal are incapable of competing with the apples from the other countries due to its faulty packaging. Therefore, Leader of the Opposition, Vidya Stokes has come up with a suggestion and urged the government to enact legislation for the standardization of grading and packaging of apples to ensure that the growers get due remunerative returns for their produce.
She said, that as per the international norms, 18 to 20 kg fruits are packed in a standard-size apple carton but ignorant growers of this state are packing 25 to 31 kg fruits, which not only affects the quality of the fruit but also cut down the actual cost. In the big cities retailers rather give preference to imported fruits than the tightly packed apple of Himachal which get rotten by the time they reaches in the market.
Unfortunately in Himachal growers are not following any homogeneous standards for grading their apples. Every single grower is following his own standards of grading on the basis of its colour, size, shape and freedom from mechanical injury. It is a high time that a uniform standard should be framed for grading and packaging in order to save the apple industry and increase the money return.