The apple marketing season is on peak, but the production is dipped this year as compare to previous years. The experts blame the climate change and its impact on the crops.
“The production is likely to be around 50 % of the 7.55 lakh tones. The production will cost about 3.80 crore as the crop has been adversely affected by scanty snowfall and poor rain,” said Horticulture Minister (Himachal Pradesh) Vidya Stokes.
According to the Tribune report, the growers are getting a good price for early variety apples and a standard box of 20 kg is fetching between Rs 1,200 and Rs 2,200 in major markets.
“The price is expected to stay at a higher level as the production is quite less,” said an agent procuring apple directly from the growers. In the past six years, the area under apple cultivation has increased from 1.01 lakh hectare to 1.10 lakh hectares.
The apple production touched an all-time high in 2010-11 to 8.93 lakh metric tonnes, dropped sharply to 2.75 lakh metric tonnes in 2011-12, again increased to 7.38 lakh metric tonnes in 2013-14 and 5.55 lakh metric tonnes in 2015-16.
Experts feel that the production may not breach the 2-crore boxes mark this year as the crop has been hit badly in some areas. According to the state’s economic survey, apple constitutes about 49 per cent of the area under fruit crops and about 85 per cent of all fruit production.
It is estimated that 42 per cent orchards in the state are over 50-year-old and need rejuvenation to increase the productivity and strengthen the Rs 3,600 crore apple economies.