Himachal apples no more apple of Nepali and Bangladeshi eyes

July 25th, 2010 - 3:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, July 25 (IANS) Apples of Himachal Pradesh have failed to attract buyers from Nepal and Bangladesh this season because of their poor quality, traders said here Sunday.
Every year a huge chunk of the state’s apples, mostly low-priced ones, finds its way to the markets of the two south Asian countries where these are used for processing.

“Traders from Nepal and Bangladesh have so far not shown any interest towards the procurement of c-grade apples. Most of the crop reaching the markets is either undersize or badly damaged by hail,” Nitu Chauhan, an apple commission agent at the Dhalli fruit market near here, told IANS.

He said a large number of traders and commission agents from abroad have been camping at Dhalli but they are waiting for the arrival of the better quality fruit.

“Generally they procure c-grade apple because of its low price, but this time even the poor quality apple is not good,” he added.

Gian Singh Chandel, chairman of the Dhalli apple market committee, said: “At this point in time, the markets are flooded with the fruit. But a huge chunk is of undersize and hail-hit, which is not finding any prominent buyers.”

Tek Chand Bahadur, a commission agent from Nepal, said: “The quality of apple is quite bad as most of crop has been harvested before attaining its proper size and gaining true colour.”

“Since most of the apples are used for processing, the undersize fruit (available in the market) is less pulpy and juicy. We are awaiting the arrival of right size of apples. Otherwise, we will try to procure the fruit from other states like Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.

He said so far he has procured only 5,000 boxes of apple against 25,000 last year.

Meanwhile, prices of superior quality of apples that had crashed within weeks of their arrival early this month, have failed to bounce back.

Last week superior grade of Royal Delicious is fetching around Rs.1,100 per box against Rs.2,000 per box last year. Similarly, Rich-a-Red is getting Rs.1,000 per box against Rs.1,800 last year.

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