Kullu holds a three-day apple festival

August 29th, 2008 - 8:13 pm ICT by ANI  

By Prem Thakur
Kullu, Aug.29 (ANI): Large number of local residents and visitors from different parts of the country and abroad enjoyed attending a special three-day apple festival held here this week.
Organised by Himachal Tourism, the apple festival was intended to promote tourism and spread awareness about various varieties of apples and apple products produced in Himachal, described to be the apple bowl of India.
One of the prime attractions at the festival was the facility to visit the apple orchards where the visitors could savour the fruit of their choice directly from the trees.
Visitors at the festival grounds were being treated with the Himachali folk dances and various dishes made of apples.
The Department of Tourism hopes such festivals could boost demand of Himachal apples and apple products even outside the State.
“This would boost our tourism. In Himachal there are various varieties of apples and apple products. We are also making an effort to tell people about our cuisine,” said Manisha Nanda, Secretary of the Tourism Department of Himachal Pradesh government.
Besides, the organizers arranged for various events like painting competition, Apple Prince and Apple Princess and Best Dressed competition for married couples during the three-day festival.
“Its a great fun and cool experience. Yeah, it’’s cool because you come to know that this place sells so many apples. So they make it a big festival. When they give apples to tourists and all others, it shows a kind of good gesture. I like it,” said Bruno, a French tourist.
Apple has been the main fruit crop of Himachal Pradesh and is being grown in 9 out of 12 districts.
Apple accounts for about 40 per cent of the total area under all fruit crops and about 80 percent of the total fruit production. Over 150,000 farm families are engaged in apple cultivation out of them, 90 per cent are small and marginal farmers with an average holdings of less than 0.6 hectare.
Development of Horticulture in Himachal Pradesh has taken a new strides in the last few decades. Area under apple cultivation has increased from 792 hectares in 1950-51 to 223,000 hectares during 2001-02 and production to 560,000 metric tones in 2003 in comparison to 1200 MT in 1950-51.
In 2003, there was a record production of 459,000 MT (25.3 million boxes), as per government records. (ANI)

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