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Himachal Apple Crisis might hurt customer’s pocket

Dr. Sangeeta Soi
Dr. Sangeeta Soi

This time due to climate change, scanty rains, less snowfall, and rampant deforestation it is expected that production of apple from Himachal Pradesh will be in short in comparison to previous years. The retail business ventures have already contacted apple growers in Kashmir valley for procurement of apple this time. In order to avoid middlemen in the process, companies like  Adani Agri Fresh, CONCOR, Reliance Fresh, Mother Dairy and Big Basket will procure directly from farmers.

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Kolkata-based conglomerate ITC Limited plans to start direct apple procurement for the first time this year. The company will buy from Himachal Pradesh as well as Jammu & Kashmir.

“We will buy apples directly from farmers in Kashmir for the first time and are already in talks with growers in various districts in the valley,” said Kumar Aggarwal, director, marketing and procurement, at Dev Bhumi Limited. The company plans to purchase 7,000 tonnes of apple primarily for retail chains.

Jammu and Kashmir being the largest producer of Indian apple will produce 17 lakh tonnes of apple this year which will incombat the supply from Himachal Paradesh. Senior officer from J & K horticulture department told media.

Adani Agri fresh the largest and first company to procure apple directly from growers in Himachal Pradesh says that they are limiting their purchase to 22000 tonnes this season. Moreover dependent on in-house procurement.

They have also declared to limit their distributor due to lack in the production. Companies like CONCOR and Reliance are taking back on this venture this year.

Prices of the commodity are expected to remain firm this year due to low production in Himachal Pradesh on top of the country increasing import duty on apples to 70% for the current year, up from 50% earlier.

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