Apple season has started picking up, and as per the Horticulture Department, 7,76,294 apple boxes have been sent to the various markets across the country.
Himachal Pradesh is one of leading apple growing state in the country, and this year expecting an apple production around 3.75 crore boxes, which is approximately 750,000 tonnes, fairly larger than the previous year’s production of around 2.9 crore boxes.
As of now apple is getting good response from the market and fetching good prices between Rs. 1500 to Rs 2500 depending on variety, size and color at the market.
The horticulture department has also started procuring apple through Market Intervention Scheme and decided to open 275 procurement centres across the apple growing region of the state. As of now 33 collection centres have been opened and rest will be initiated as per demand of the fruit growers. HPMC has so far procured 5.002 metric tonne of apple under MIS upto 28th July, 2015.
Earlier previous year, reports of apple growers’ duping and cheating were making headline and to protect them from getting hoodwinked, the state government has tighten its norms and laid down some stiffer rules for traders to do business in the state.
However, roads, main or connecting, are still a worry for the apple growers, as most of them are in bad position and giving tough time for transporting produce to the market. Despite being tall promises from the political leaders, much touted Theog-Hatkoti-Rohru road, a heartline of apple produce of the state, is still in bad phase and seems repeating the worries of apple growers of the region. The condition of other roads of Chopal, Kotkahi-Jubbal, Rohru and Kumarsen region of the Shimla district, which carries maximum margin of apple crop, are also not in good shape and likely to give tough time to transporters and apple growers, and likely to eat into the hard earned money of growers.