Himachal Pradesh is heading for good apple crop this year with more than 3 crore standard apple boxes sent to various markets in the country and 31,758 metric tonne apple procured under Market Intervention scheme (MIS).
The production is likely to touch 6 lakh tonne at the end of the marketing season with apple from tribal areas and higher hills reaching the market by first week of November.
The juicy and spotless Kinnauri apple, which fetches much higher returns as compared to apple grown in other parts of the state and arrives at a time when Kashmir apple had already been sold.
The state government has opened 269 collection centres under the MIS, and HPMC and HIMFED have been designated as procurement agencies.
The state's highest apple production was at 8.93 tonnes in 2010-11 while the production was 5.93 lakh tonnes in 2007-08 and 5.40 lakh tonnes in 2005-06 while the lowest production of 49,130 tonnes was recorded in 1999-2000. The production was 1.90 lakh tonnes in 2001-02, 2.68 lakh tonnes in 2006-07 and 2.75 lakh in 2011-12.
The area under apple cultivation has also increased from 90347 hectares in 2000-01 to 1.04 lakh hectares in 2011-12.
The area under production is likely to reduce from next year as apple orchards on encroach forest land are being cleared.