It was happy news for a couple of young and progressive apple growers in Himachal Pradesh when they drew the attention of Chinese farmers and researchers who visited their orchards to learn new apple-growing techniques in spite of the fact that China is the largest apple producer in the world.
A group of Chinese apple farmers visited the orchards of young grower Sanjeev Chauhan at Bakhaul and Pratap Chauhan at Bajaul village in Shimla district to learn new techniques of apple growing. Scientists Jheng Shu and Erik woo from the China-Taiwan-India Agro Fresh Society, accompanied by farmers, visited these two orchards located at different elevation.
“Chinese farmers were very appreciative of the efforts put by my family in planting new varieties,” says Sanjev Chauhan, adding that by adopting modern techniques, he was yielding a good crop even though the land holding was small. A government official said that Sanjeev yielded 52 metric tonne production per hectare whereas in China and US per hectare production is around 40 metric tonne. Chinese researchers were particularly keen to know the techniques adopted in Himachal to grow the Red Fuji apple, which is the commonly grown variety in China.
According to the government figures, almost half of the apples consumed in India are imported from other countries including China and 75% of total imported fruit is Apple. The apple import in India is: China: 55%, USA: 39%, New Zealand: 4.80% and other: 1.80%.