Himachal expects high apple produce

Chandigarh, Apr 24 | Updated: Apr 28 2007, 07:37am hrs
Apple production is likely to double this year in Himachal Pradesh as the late snowfall and lean crop in the previous year have lead to excellent fruit development in the early stage. The production is expected to cross 6.5 lakh metric tonnes a marked growth over last years 3.62 lakh metric tonne output.

Apple growers are in high spirits as the fruit formation that is in initial stage has been excellent indicating a high production this year. Experts believe that the expectation of good crop is high as the last years drastic fall in production has left enough replenishment in apple trees to sustain this years crop. The flowering post fruit development and initial development of the fruit has been good indicating better crop this time, One of the apple growers from Shimla said. But most growers are keeping fingers crossed, as the crop is still to see through the hail prone months of April, May and June. Apart from the low production last year hail damaged 50% of the apple production that hit the growers hard.

This year also hail has already damaged apple crop in some parts of Kinnar and Shimla districts. The Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Department have pegged the apple production to be normal at 6.4 lakh metric tonne. As per the departments projections 60% of the apple would be produced in district Shimla, 26% in Kullu and rest in Kinnar, Lahual & Spiti, Mandi and Chamba. The apple crop production stood at 3.63 lakh metric tonnes as compared to record production of 6.96 lakh metric tonnes in year 2005. Meanwhile, the private companies that entered the apple procurement last year are getting ready for more vigorous procurement this year.

Among the other buyers companies namely Adani and Dev Bhumi are likely to multiply their procurement targets over the last yearss procurement figures. Adani Group has already set up three-cold storages in Shimla with capacity of 6,000 tonne each.