The Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Produce, Marketing and Processing Corporation (HPMC) was making all efforts to make the apple produce of the state internationally competitive. The task to design standardised carton had been assigned to Indian institute of Packaging (IIP) by agricultural and processed food products export development authority (APEDA).
HPMC would soon submit a proposal in this regard to the state government to enact a law for making standard packaging material mandatory.
HPMC chairman Prakash Thakur said HPMC was waiting for IIP to finalise the dimension before mid February. He said universal corrugated fibre board (CFB) boxes would be used for packaging of apples and quality of the material would also be same as used for corrugated board, 5-ply to 7 ply.
He said, "After receiving the dimensions we will submit a final proposal to government seeking a law. Government may amend the already existing Weights Measurement Act. If new type of carton will be introduced then it will be mandatory for growers to use."
A team of IIP recently visited the apple growing areas of the state and sought suggestion over a sample packaging material. After growers' opinion, IIP would amend the box dimensions.
Thakur said IIP would design standard cartons for large, medium and small grades of apple, besides extra-small and six-layer packing apple known as 'pitttu'.
Earlier, IIP team had visited farmers and sought opinion for design and state horticulture department had supplied pack of five cartons for each grade as sample to IIP. IIP had designed a sample box of having same base as telescopic but height was fixed at 310 millimeter.
Meanwhile, standard weights of apple box was 20kg, but in the state boxes were over packed with more than 30kg of apple, causing harm to state economy as well as apples.
Grower used telescopic carton for apple packaging, which had a scope of over packaging, but universal carton would have fixed dimensions. This box could carry 80 large, 100 medium and 150 small apples and for packaging of extra small and 'pitttu' another box of same dimension but height more than 330 millimeter would be designed.