Himachal Pradesh to procure 54,500 tonnes of apples

August 7th, 2008 - 9:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Aug 7 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh government announced Thursday that it would procure 54,500 tonnes of apple crop under the market intervention scheme. According to a government spokesman, the procurement agencies will purchase apples at Rs.5.25 per kilogram. The government has set up 242 procurement centres.

The official said the fruits would be procured only from those farmers who posses horticulture card.

The state horticulture department is hopeful of a bumper crop this year, but slightly less than the previous year’s record of 29.2 million boxes.

Horticulture Department director Gurdev Singh told IANS that the total yield this season would be around 25 million boxes.

The normal production ranges from 17 million to 20 million boxes.

Apple is the main fruit crop of the state and is being grown in nine out of the 12 districts. Apple fruit accounts for about 40 percent of the total area under all fruit crop cultivation.

More than 200,000 families in Himachal Pradesh are engaged in apple cultivation and 90 percent of them are small and marginal farmers with an average holding of less than 0.6 hectares.

Besides apples, other fruits such as pears, peaches, cherries and plums are the major commercial crops of the state.

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