Himachal Pradesh government gets tough with winemaker

September 8th, 2008 - 9:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Sep 8 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh government has decided to get tough with leading winemaker Indage Ltd for its failure to procure apple and grape crop from within the hill state, a senior leader said Monday.”A notice has been issued to Indage Ltd as it’s not procuring apples and grapes from the farmers here. It has not fully operationalised its two plants,” state horticulture minister Narender Bragta told IANS.

“The company’s two winery plants at Pragtinagar in Shimla district and Nagwain in Kullu district are being used for bottling with the raw material being procured from outside the state. The government has asked the company to start making wine at the earliest,” Bragta said.

The Pragtinagar plant has the capacity to utilise 18,000 tonnes of apples for making wine, while the Nagwain plant has the same capacity to make grape wine.

“We have asked the company to start procuring apple from growers in the state,” he said.

The hill state is known as the fruit bowl of the country.

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

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

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