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Himachal to ensure introduction of universal carton for apple marketing: Minister


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Shillong, June 7: The Himachal Pradesh government will ensure introduction of universal carton during the forthcoming apple season to benefit fruit growers, state Horticulture Minister Jagat Singh Negi said on Friday.


While presiding over a meeting regarding preparedness for the apple season with stakeholders here, the minister said the state is famous for apple production which contributes significantly to its economy.


Keeping in view the importance of apple season, universal carton will be utilised to benefit all the stakeholders.


The sale of apple by weight (kilogram) was introduced last year to fulfil the promise made to apple growers by the government, he added.


He also emphasised registration and grant of licence to fruit traders and timely payments to fruit growers.


Negi gave directions to the Shimla administration to ensure availability of trucks and pickup vehicles for transportation of fruit boxes as per the demand, besides fixing freight charges for the transportation of apples on a kilogram and kilometre basis.


A main control room has been set up at Fagu and he directed the police to ensure traffic management and maintenance of law and order during the apple season starting in July.


During the meeting, directions were given to the Public Works Department and the National Highway Authority of India for proper maintenance of roads connecting fruit growing areas to terminal markets and timely restoration of roads disrupted by heavy rain and landslides.


Climate change has literally brought under the weather the Rs 5,000-crore fruit economy of Himachal Pradesh.


Apple growers say their business, which alone constitutes 89 per cent of the total fruit economy, is not as fruitful as it used to be a decade ago as climate trends impact its overall production. (IANS)


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