The fruit bowl of India Himachal Pradesh has already sold 3 crores boxes of apples in various domestic and international markets. Taken by surprise? It is a fact. And in surplus to that, about, 40-45 lakhs of boxes with each box containing about 20 kilograms of apples are ready to hit the market. The statistics has been reported by the horticulture department of the state.
According to the department, Himachal Pradesh State Co-operative Marketing and Consumers Federation Limited and Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Produce, Marketing and Processing Corporation have launched a market intervention scheme in 2012 to safeguard the growers from any kind of distress due to bumper production. Under this scheme, over 31,000 metric tonnes of apples have been procured and still a chunk of the production is likely to come from places of higher altitude such as Kinnaur, Ribba, Chango, Lahul and Spiti etc. Last year, state had produced 2.90 crores boxes and this year it has already surpassed the last years yield. A major share (about 90%) of these apples goes to the domestic market and remaining to the international market.
Himachal Pradesh's apple boom is credited to Satyanand (Samuel Evans Stokes Junior), an American missionary who first introduced the high-quality apples in the Kothgarh-Thanedar belt in upper Shimla region, in the Himachal Pradesh during the early 1920s.