Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, September 26
The procurement of apples by private firms in Himachal Pradesh has affected supply in the local markets here.
Traders say there is a slump of around 20-30 per cent as compared to last year. This has caused a hike in the prices of the apples. Arhtiyas selling apples in the wholesale market say there is a hike of Rs 20-30.
Ravi Shankar Gupta, a trader at the Maqsudan fruit mandi, said: “Apples from HP start arriving in the local mandis in August. Last year, by this time, around 40-50 Jeeps containing 20-25 quintal apples had arrived, but this season, just 7-10 Jeeps have reached. Subsequently, the prices have increased by almost 20 per cent. In the wholesale market this year, the 2X quality apples are being sold at Rs 30-35/kg, 3X at Rs 40-55/kg, 4X at Rs 60-70/kg and 5X at Rs 80-100/kg. On the contrary, last year, the prices were between Rs 20-30/kg, Rs 35-50/kg, Rs 55-60/kg and Rs 70-80/kg, respectively.”
Kuldeep Raj (50), another fruit dealer, said owing to the drop in supply, traders were selling the fruit kept in the cold stores here.
The local apple traders are now waiting for the arrival of apples from Jammu and Kashmir. Amar Singh Dogra (60), a Himachal-based apple farmer and dealer, confirmed the slump in the export of the apples to Punjab. “While the production doubled this year, the quantity of apples of large size, which are usually sold in Punjab, remained lower than the last year. Consequently, private firms procured fine quality apples before they could be transported to other states,” he said.
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