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Himachal apple growers expect bumper crop this year

Apple growers in Himachal Pradesh expect a bumper crop of around 350,000 metric tonnes during the 2007 crop season. Orchards across the picturesque Kullu Valley in the State, known as the apple bowl of India, are in full bloom. Although, a month is left for the season to end, Kullu has already produced around 118,000 metric tonnes of apples, which is double the production during 2006.

`There has been hailstorm in few areas, which has affected the quality of production. However, there is still a month left before the season ends,` said Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Department Deputy-Director Basant Lal. `So far 35-40 percent of total apple production has gone to the market and 250 trucks loaded with apples are being sent daily from Kullu District alone,` he added.

Apples are sorted and packed before being sent to markets across the country, mainly to Delhi, Gujarat and Punjab. `Last year around 2,000 boxes of apples were sent, but this year the production is good and we hope to sen

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