Shimla, Oct 29
The fragrance of Kinnuar Apple hit the North Indian Fruit Markets as the major chunk of apple produce are pouring in the various market yards of the state and outside.
The spokesman of Agriculture Department said that as many as 25 lakh boxes of Kinnuar apple are already sent to market from Kinnuar district. Adding that, as many as 63 Gram Panchayats of tribal district and around 95 per cent population grows apple. Around 12, 616. 24 hectare area is under the fruit cultivation in the district, he added.
Compared to other apple growing districts of hill state the crop of Kinnuar arrives late in the market as the Apple season commence from end of September to November as compared to July to October for the rest of state.
Horticulture departments recorded production of around 28,28,182 apple boxes in the Kinnuar district in last year and target of 32, 83, 300 boxes was laid for this year. With supply of around 24,47000 apple carton the district is expected to exceed the target.
The quality of Kinnuar Apple is worthy of export as its shelf life is long and fruit size, texture and sweetness and nutritional value is excellent and unparalleled. The high altitude climatic conditions which range from humid- temperate to dry temperate contribute to the high food value of the Kinnuar Apple.
The Kinnuar apples also sold in Levi fair like a hot cake due to long shelf life and one could store the fruit for long time without air-condition. People and tourists buy the Kinnuar apple boxes at high cost because it could be stored for long time in the house.
Most of Kinnuar apple is considered must fit for the CA stores as it can last for a long time and could be supplied in the market when the glut of apple is low. Moreover it gives a tough competition to the cheap and readily available imported apple in the Indian Markets due to its good food value and low use of pesticides.
Under the Integrated Horticulture Mission state government has spend about 1.27 Crore for apple growers under which power spray pump, power tillers, Bee keeping, Mushroom Compost, water storage tank and Grading packaging sheds were developed by the 829 apple growers in the district. Various other schemes are also being run by the state government to provide the logistic stock.
As many as 6955 imported high quality apple plants were distributed to the 58 apple growers to improve their productions. Apple is considered the back of the hill economy as it renders livelihoods to about seven to eight lakh house holds and contributes around 4500 to Rs 5000Cr to state Gross Domestic Product(GDP).