Rohru: This small town in Himachal Pradesh’s Shimla district has emerged as the most popular market for apples among small markets in the state this year, as the hill state is set to produce a record apple crop.
Located some 115 km from the state capital Rohru is located on the banks of the crystal clear Pabbar.The town has surprised many by attracting apple farmers in large numbers.
Buyers are reaching this place from across the country, particularly from neighbouring Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh in big numbers.
“Until last year there were very few shops dealing in apples here.But this harvest it is boom time.Shops of commission agents have sprung up all across Rohru and its vicinity,” Yashwant Nagta, a commission agent based here said.
“This place has emerged as the biggest market for apples this season leaving behind Shimla, Solan,Narkanda and Parwanoo market yards,” he said.
“The Rohru market yard is a hit with farmers and buyers because unlike other smaller markets it has a reasonably good infrastructure of banks,budget hotels and space. It has a good road connectivity and is quite close to the Uttarakhand border,” said Rajeev Chauhan, Chairman of the Himalayan Apple Growers Society.
Locals say currently over 80 percent of the trucks transporting out apple from Rohru are from Uttar Pradesh.
During the apple harvest the state government does not tax trucks and other goods transport vehicles who ship out the apple produce.
Muslim traders from small towns like Saharanpur,Muzzafarnagar and Meerut and even far of places like Maharashtra and Gujarat have descended on Rohru.
In recent years smaller markets have mushroomed in Himachal during the three month long apple harvest season.
This has hit Delhi’s monopoly, even though it still continues to remain the largest market for apples in the country.