Himachal Pradesh today announced that the state will introduce cartons complying with global packaging norms for apples during the upcoming season in view of the growing competition by foreign apple varieties in the market.
State Horticulture Minister Narender Bragta,who made a suo motu statement in the Assembly,said that there was complete unanimity on adopting new packaging standards and he had already held discussions with apple growers and Congress Legislature Party leader Vidya Stokes,whose family had been a pioneer in the states apple production.
In his nine-page statement,Bragta also placed on record his correspondence with Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma asking for raising import duty on foreign apples and also declaring apple as a special product to save farmers from huge losses. He claimed that the state had suffered a loss of Rs 100 crore last season because of foreign apples.
On universal standard cartons,Bragta said,The telescopic cartons (currently used) have inherent drawbacks which damages apples during transport. From the coming apple season the government would provide standard cartons to the farmers.