Apple production may fall 50% this year: Stokes

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Apple production is expected to fall by 50 per cent in Himachal this year compared to last year’s crop of 7.55 lakh tonnes, state Horticulture Minister Vidya Stokes said.

The state has exported about 14.50 lakh standard apple boxes to various terminal markets in the country this year so far.

“The apple crop is not good this year due to deficient snowfall and poor rains’ and might not even be 50 per cent of last year’s crop of 7.55 lakh MT,” Stokes said.

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About 14.50 lakh apple boxes (28,984 MT) have been sent to varies terminal markets till date during the current marketing seasonwhile 68.635 MT have been procured by the HPMC and NIMFED under the market intervention scheme, Horticulture Director D P Bhangalia said.

He said that the State Government has so far opened 148 collection centres in the State for procurement of apples under Market Intervention Scheme, out of which 53 centres have been opened by HPMC and 95 by HIMFED.

However, the growers in lower region producing early varieties of apple area happy lot as

Royal and other delicious varieties are fetching returns ranging between Rs 1500 to Rs 2500 per standard apple box, said a progressive grower who is also a forwarding agent.