Himachal sees record apple procurement in over a decade

Subhash Rajta

Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 21

The HPMC and Himfed have procured record amount of apple this season via Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) in over a decade. Already, the combined procurement this year is close to 70,000 MTndash; HPMC has bought over 35,000 MT and Himfed 33,000 MT. In 2010, 1.10 lakh MT apples were procured through the MIS. "This is the maximum Himfed has procured in the last decade. Last year, we had bought 18,000 MT," said Ajay Thakur, consultant with Himfed. For HPMC, too, this is a record procurement over the past decade or so. "We procured 33,000 MT last year, but we can end up buying around 40,000 MT this year as we have to buy till October-end," said an HPMC official.

Market scheme

  • Nearly 70,000 MT was procured this year by HPMC and Himfed
  • In 2010, 1.10 lakh MT apples were procured through Market Intervention Scheme
  • The procurement spiked this year as a large quantity of apple was rendered substandard due to hailstorms

The procurement through the MIS has spiked because much of the apple was rendered substandard due to persistent hail and untimely dry spell. While the HPMC uses a portion of its procurement for making juices and jams, the rest is auctioned in Parwanoo.

"This time, less produce will be used for processing as 1,000 MT juice is still left from the last season. The demand had dipped because of Covid and it's yet to pick up," said an HPMC official.

The agencies, however, aren't getting a good price in auction. "Over the last few days, the prices have crashed. A 35-kg bag is being auctioned for Rs 50," said Thakur. "We are suffering losses but we can't even hold the produce. If we don't sell it, we will have to dump it," he said.

Experts say processing plants should be set up in apple-producing areas like Rohru, Kinnaur and Kotkhai. "We pay farmers Rs 9.50 per kg and then another Rs 2.75 per kg is spent to bring that apple to Parwanoo, where it is auctioned for Rs 2.50 to Rs 3. Processing plants in apple-producing areas will cut down some costs," said Thakur. — TNS

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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