Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Minister, Nariendar Bragta, requested Subodh Kant Sahai, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, to set up an apple juice concentrate plant at Pragatinagar in Kotkhai through its nodal agency HPMC.
The proposed Plant will have 20,000 kts. processing capacity with an estimated cost of Rs. 25 crores.
He also brought to Sahaiâ€™s notice that present processing unit is thirty years old and obsolete to todayâ€™s advanced technology, thus a new advanced processing unit is call of the hour to meet the requirement of the increasing production of fruits in the State.
Presently, the state produces 6-7 lac tonne fruits every year, which includes apple, stone fruits and hill fruits like peach, plum, apricots etc. Despite of heavy demand of fruits in the open markets, the culled fruits which is about 25-30 percent of the total production does not find ready market and needed to be processed into value added products, Bragta added in his talks.
He requested that Himachal Pradesh should be given special assistance as being given for North Eastern states for establishing fruit processing plant under Cold Chain Scheme of (MOFPI). He urged that the grant of Rs. 10 crore be given to the State immediately.