New fruit processing plant to be set up at Kotkhai ” Minister

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Shimla, Mar 11
Himachal Pradesh Government would set up a fruit processing plant at Kotkhai area of Shimla district so that produce procured in apple-producing areas could be used to process into apple concentrate, said Horticulture Minister Mohinder Singh Thakur in the state assembly while replying to a query of Rohit Thakur on Friday.
He said that the plant is under consideration by the government so that apples procured from the Kotkhai area could be quickly used for the apple juice and concentrate. Earlier to this plant Himachal Pradesh Fruit processing and Marketing limited(HPMC ) had to carry the C-grade apple to the Parwanoo unit of HPMC for further processing the produce. During the transportation, huge amounts of apples is being wasted which could soon be used on the spot after a new plant would be commissioned at Kotkhai. Minister said that the fruit processing plant was set up at Parwanoo in 1981 which is producing 18000 metric tonne apple concentrate every year. Minister informed that in the last three years this unit has produced 2326.31 metric tonne Apple juice concentrate from 28818.89 mt apples. The unit is being upgraded.
Anita Dhiman of BJP demanded a processing plant for Citrus fruit in Indora Area of Kangra district,  on which Minister said that the state should not be known as a fruit state instead become an apple state. Minister said that two-thirds of the state fall in subtropical areas but enough resources for fruit production and processing have not been done.

He said that a Shiva project was also being proposed by the Asian Development Bank project. Adding, that after Mar 15 MOU for this project is to be signed to bring the 45000-hectare area under subtropical fruit. He said that the Shiva Project would help the processing plant for Citrus fruits in Kangra district.

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