Apple grading goes hi-tech in Shimla hills

Shimla: Deploying world class technology for post harvest packing of fruits, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, Monday commissioned two computerized grading and packing lines and an advanced cold store in a prominent apple growing belt of Shimla hills.

Speaking on the occasion, he said for ensuring remunerative prices, the government would be strengthening the marketing infrastructure by expanding the cold chain network and installing world class grading and packing systems.

Just as harvesting operations of apples get underway in Kotgarh – Kumarsain area, the chief minister inaugurated a special controlled atmosphere (CA) store with a dedicated refrigerated van facility at Jarol Tikkar.

The CA store with a capacity to store 35,000 boxes had been set up at a cost of Rs 5.03 Cr, he said.

Using imported technology from Italy and Netherlands, the chief minister also commissioned the Jarol Tikkar and Oddi apple packing lines.

He said that the two grading lines costing Rs 1.63 Cr each had the capacity to sort apples by size, colour, weight grade with a waxing facility to package 4 lakhs boxes each in a year.

These high tech lines are said to be equipped with infra red eye for maintaining quality grading that meets export standards.

The technology upgrade of existing infrastructure has been facilitated by funding from APEDA (Agriculture & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority), a central government organisation under the ministry of commerce and industry.

On other needs for marketing fruit produces, Dhumal said that Rs 9 crore had been sanctioned towards construction of a road from Matiyana to Parala subzi mandi and the support price of apple under the market intervention scheme has been increased to Rs 6 per Kg for the current season.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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