By Rajan Rawat,Humla, Dec. 4: It is estimated that apples worth around Rs. 30 million have been produced in the district this year.
The increase in apple production is due to no snowfall during apple blooming season, absence of diseases and more snowfall during the winter.
Dharmendra Adhikari, information officer of the Agricultural Development Office, said that apple production of Humla was good this year.
Stating that apples worth Rs. 30 million were produced this year, he said that apples did not do well for the last two years, but this year the production was good.
According to Adhikari, 1,200 tonnes of apples have been produced from apple gardens covering around 569 hectares of land in Humla.
The Office has distributed around 3,500 cartons at a rate of Rs. 25 per piece for the sale of apples.
Apples sales worth Rs. 6 Although the production is good, apples worth only Rs. 6 million have been sold this year.
Janga Bahadur Shahi, an apple producer, said that he sold apples worth about Rs. 300,000.
He said that farmers across the district have sold apples worth Rs. 6 million. There will be some increase in sales as the farmers still have apples in stock, he added.
Shahi said that the farmers who have been cultivating apples commercially have earned up to Rs. 500,000 from the sale of apples.
Problem of market
It is difficult for the farmers to get the market to sell their products this year. Due to the lack of road transport facility, it is not possible to supply apples outside the district.
Yam Bahadur Lama, a farmer of Burause village of Simkot Rural Municipality-4, said that apple production in his farm was good this year.
He said that 150 quintals of apples were grown in 100 plants out of 300 plants, but there was a problem in sales.
He complained that although apples were produced well, due to market and storage problems, the produced apples have to be kept in sacks.
He said that he has been carrying some apples in baskets and selling them in the Simkot market, while some apples are cut and given to livestock.
Deepak Phadera of Sarkegad Rural Municipality-3 said that although apples were produced well, they were wasted due to lack of market.
Around 200 quintals of apples were produced in his garden, he informed.
Due to the fact that it is in the village, even though the pedestrians buy it in pieces, there are still many apples left. Due to the problem of storage with modern technology, he has been storing the remaining apples using the local system.
He complained that 15 quintals of apples were wasted so far due to rotting and said that it is sad that despite good production, they are facing sales problems.
Similarly, Jaya Chandra Rokaya, a farmer of Simkot Rural Municipality-6, who has been cultivating apples from 300 plants, said that though 300 quintals of apples have been produced, he has been able to sell apples worth only Rs. 50,000 so far.
According to the statistics of the Agricultural Development Office, there are more than 150 farmers cultivating apples commercially.
Information officer Adhikari said that the apple market in Humla is the Simkot market and there is no situation to sell it anywhere else.
There is no scientific method of selling apples in Humla, but they are sold on per-piece basis.
At present, a piece of apple is sold for Rs. 10. Due to the lack of air flights and the fact that transportation is expensive, farmers are not in a position to supply their products by air transport.