In the election year, the Himachal Pradesh government is going to fulfill the years old demand of the gardeners. Instead of companies like Adani, Devbhoomi, Reliance Fresh, Safal and Big Basket, now the government committee will decide the price of apple purchase.
Representatives of Horticulture Department, Horticulture University and Horticulture organizations will be included in this committee. Private companies buy 30 to 35 thousand metric tonnes of apples every year in the state. Gardeners deliver apples in crates to the companies’ collection centers. Here grading is done separately for XL, Large, Medium and Small size apples.
After this the color of the apple is seen. The prices of apples are decided on the basis of red color of 100 per cent, 60 to 80 per cent and less than 60 per cent. Last year, the companies had fixed 10 to 15 rupees less per kg than in 2020, about which the gardeners had also expressed strong displeasure. It is noteworthy that apple season has started in the state. Companies start apple procurement in late August to procure quality apples from high altitude areas. Apples are stored in CA (Controlled Atmosphere) stores and then put in the market when the season is over.
Till now, private companies used to fix the prices on the basis of the rates of the mandis, due to which the farmers had to bear the loss for selling apples to private companies when the rates fell in the mandis. A committee will be constituted to decide at what price private companies will buy apples. After studying all the aspects, it will be decided whether this system will be implemented in this season or not. RD Dhiman, Chief Secretary, Himachal Pradesh Government