Tribune News Service
Shimla, October 10
The Horticulture Department has claimed that the apple business this season has already crossed the Rs 4,000 crore mark.
“Around 2.70 crore apple boxes have already been marketed in the APMC mandis or outside. Taking Rs 1,500 as an average price per box, the Rs 4,000 crore mark has been breached,” said Gyan Verma, senior marketing officer, Horticulture Department. “The figure doesn’t include the procurement done by the HPMC and Himfed and the private CA stores,” he said.
2.7 cr boxes marketed
Around 2.70 crore apple boxes have already been marketed in the APMC mandis or outside so far. Taking Rs1,500 as an average price per box, the Rs4,000 crore mark has been breached. Senior Marketing Officer, Horticulture Dept
Verma further said the arrival of apple in the market had not slowed down yet. “Over one lakh boxes are still hitting the market every day. The trend should sustain towards the end of this month as we are expecting around 30 lakh boxes more from Kinnaur. By the end of the season, we will have comfortably surpassed our prediction of 3.22 crore boxes this year,” said Verma.
Incidentally, the procurement of C grade apple through Market Intervention Scheme has seen significant increase this year. “Normally, the production of C grade apple is around 30 per cent of the total crop. This time, this percentage has jumped to around 45 to 50 per cent,” said Verma.
“Apart from the apple sold through MIS, the C Grade apple was sent to the mandis, too, in boxes. Apple packed in seven layer boxes, without adequate colour, deformed and rusted have been included in this category,” said Verma.
While the major reason for the massive jump in the percentage of C grade apple was persistent hailing, untimely snowfall and a spell of drought, Verma said the aging plantation was also contributing to it.
“The plantation done in the 70s and 80s is aging now and those trees hardly provide 30 per cent of quality fruit. Even though growers are fast shifting to newer varieties, the number of old trees is still quite significant,” he said. “Eventually, people will have to shift to new varieties to have quality yield and get good prices.”
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