Apple Production in India

1. Production and Area:

About 99 percent of India’s apple area falls under the North Western Hills region covering: - 6 districts of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K): Srinagar, Budgam, Pulwama, Anantanag, Baramullah, Kupwara, - 6 districts of Himachal Pradesh (H.P.): Shimla, Kullu, Sirmour, Mandi, Chamba, Kinnaur , - 8 districts of Uttar Pradesh( U.P.): Almora, Nainital, Pithauragarh, Tehri, Pauri, Chamoli, Uttarkashi, Dehradun.

In the North-eastern Hills region, good quality apple is grown on a limited scale in a small area in Tawang belt of Kameng district in Arunachal Pradesh. The Tawang area is basically a rainshadow belt and therefore, permits a longer period of sunshine and freedom from heavy rains, making it ideal for apple. Apple is also grown in Sikkim and Nagaland but the production is not a major success. Table 1. Area, Production and Yield of Apple in India

State| Apple (1995-96)| | Area (ha)| Production (MT)| Yield (MT/ha)| Arunachal Pradesh| 5523| 9730| 1.76| Himachal Pradesh| 78296| 276681| 9.40| Jammu and Kashmir| 78007| 714834| 11.0| Nagaland| 64| 109| 1.70| Uttar Pradesh| 55200| 210000| 3.95| Total| 217099| 1211379| 5.56| Although there has been 5-6 fold increase in apple production during the last 50 years, the productivity level is still very low (5.56 t/ha). * In H.P, area under apple increased from 3026 ha in 1960-61 to 78296 ha in 1995-96 with a corresponding increase in yield. * J&K covers about 78007 ha under apple with a production of 714834 tons. * In the U.P. hills (8 districts) apple occupies about 30 per cent of the area under fruits and contributes 46.9 percent of fruit production. The area covered under apple in U.P. hills is 55200 ha with production of 210000 tons of fruits. * In the North-Eastern Hills Region, good quality apple is produced only in the rain-shadow belts of Arunachal Pradesh (5523 ha), and in Nagaland a very small area (64 ha) has been brought under apple cultivation. 2. CULTIVARS

Over 700 accessions of apple, introduced from USA, Russia, U.K., Canada, Germany, Israel, Netherlands, Australia, Switzerland, Italy and Denmark have been tried and tested during the last 50 years. The delicious group of cultivars predominates the apple market. The areas covered under Delicious cultivars are: 83% of the area under apple in H.P., 45% in J&K and 30% in U.P. hills. In more recent times improved spur types and standard color mutants with 20-50% higher yield potential are favored. The important selections are:

* Spur types - Red spur, Starkrimson, Golden spur, Red Chief and Oregon spur. * Color mutants - Vance Delicious, Top Red, Skyline Supreme. * Low chilling cultivars - Michal, Schlomit.

* Early cultivars - Benoni, Irish Peach, Early Shanburry, Fanny * Juice making cultivars - Lord Lambourne, Granny Smith, Allington Pippin. * Scab resistant cultivars - Co-Op-12, Florina, Firdous, Shirean. * New Hybrids - Lal Ambri (Red Delicious X Ambri), Sunehari (Ambri X Golden Delicious), Amred (Red Delicious X Ambri), Chaubatia Anupam & Chaubatia Princess (Early Shanberry X Red Delicious) developed in India. In H.P. monoculture of a few cultivars such as Royal Delicious, Red Delicious and Richared have started showing negative impact on the apple industry.

Serious problems of apple scab disease and outbreak of premature leaf fall and infestation of red spider mite are causing great concern. U.P. Hills, particularly the Kumaon hills division, have the unique advantage of early harvest of apple, mainly due to cultivation of early maturing varieties like Early Shanburry, Fanny and Benoni. The early maturing varieties are harvested 2-3 weeks before the arrival of fresh apple from H.P. and J&K, and hence fetch very remunerative prices. Table 2. Promising Cultivars of Apple in Major Production Regions of India Fruits| J&K| H.P.| U.P.|

Apple| Benoni, Irish Peach, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Ambri, White dotted Red, American Apirouge, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious| Tydeman’s Early, Mollies Delicious, Starkrimson, Starking Delicious, Red delicious, Richared, Granny-Smith, Red Spur, Top Red, Red Chief, Oregon Spur, Golden Spur, Michal, Schlomit| Early Shanburry, Chaubattia Princess, Fanny Benoni, Red Delicious, Starking Delicious, Rymer, Buckingham|

3. HARVESTING AND SEASONS 3.1 Harvesting Maturity Standards In apple, the number of days taken from full bloom to harvest are 132-134 days for Starking Delicious, 138-140 days for Red Delicious and 147-148 days for Golden Delicious varieties in the high hills (above 2000 m) of H.P. In J&K State, the variety Maharaji requires 160 ± 3 days after full bloom for proper harvest maturity. Apple cultivar Granny Smith takes 180 ± 5 days for maturity. The maturity standards for different cultivars of apple are given in Table 5. Table 3. Maturity Indices for Commercial Cultivars of Apple Cultivar| Days from full bloom| Firmness (kg)| TSS (%)| Royal Delicious| 125 ± 5| 8.2 ± 0.40| 13.0 - 15.0|

Red Gold| 122 ± 3| 8.3 ± 0.20| 12.0 - 13.5| Red Delicious| 134 ± 5| 8.4 ± 0.40| 10.0 - 14.0| McIntosh| 135 ± 4| 6.8 ± 0.25| 11.5 - 13.5| Golden Delicious| 148 ± 6| 8.4 ± 0.40| 12.0 - 14.5| Granny Smith| 180 ± 5| 8.7 ± 0.30| 11.5 - 13.0| Fruit Thinning In apple, for obtaining better grade fruits of optimum size a post-bloom spray of 100-200 ppm ethephon 2-3 weeks after full bloom has been recommended both in H.P. and J&K. 3.2 Seasons Apple season in India is from end of July til mid of December, and harvest from June to November. The seasons of market arrivals from North Western States are as follows: H.P. - July to October with a peak in August - September

J&K - August to November, with a peak in September - October U.P. - June to October, with a peak in July - mid September.

4. PRICE AND MARKETING 4.1 Price Please see attached Monthwise Annual Price & Arrival Reports - http://www.nhb.gov.in/OnlineClient/MonthwiseAnnualPriceandArrivalReport.aspx Apples are an expensive fruit in India, and price fluctuations are very high, mostly depending on these three criteria: * Origin: Imported apples vs Domestic apples

* Across regional markets and within markets * Seasonality Price indication: * In the wholesale market at Dhalli, a box of Tydeman's Early Worcester variety is selling between Rs. 400 and Rs. 450, whereas Red June is fetching Rs.200 - Rs.250. * General prices found for apples: rs40/60 per kg,in delhi rs 50/60 per kg, * In season, apple prices found at gangotri at rs 10/20 per kg * Apple - Indian Rs. 40 per KG, Imported Rs. 140 per KG.

Price movements in various wholesale markets in India are not integrated. Although Delhi is an important wholesale market in the country, price movements in other markets were not in tandem with price movements in Delhi. Only has been found a long-run relationship between prices in Mumbai having its effect felt in Bangalore and Kolkata. Moreover, it took more than 2 weeks for complete transmission of price change to occur in Mumbai.

Thus price divergence between various regional markets persists. Apple imports do not seem to be able to bring about the law of one price as imported apples are very expensive. This is mainly due to high customs duties and very high domestic trader margins. In fact, while trader margins on domestic apples account for 46 per cent of the consumer rupee, the margins on imported apples account for about 51 per cent of the consumer rupee. Imported Apples are usually available 2 to 2.5 times more expensive domestic A few changes in the domestic marketing chain can improve price integration.

At present, it is mandatory in many states for the agricultural produce to be sold only through APMC markets. A select group of licensed traders dictate the margins with both growers and buyers arguably not receiving a fair price. If produce is allowed to move without going through APMC markets and growers operate through private wholesale markets, this would generate competition to APMC markets. Competition is likely to increase market efficiency that will facilitate low-margin, large-volume trading.

FIGURE 1: WEEKLY PRICES AT WHOLESALE MARKETS (JAN - DEC, 2000).

Source: NHB.

FIGURE 2: RETAIL PRICES OF IMPORTED APPLES, DELHI (MAY, 2003).

4.2 Marketing Apple growers are mostly sending their crop to Chandigarh, Amritsar and to the biggest wholesale market at Azadpur, in Delhi. About 70 per cent of the total trade of apple is distributed through this market. There are a number of marketing channels, of which the predominant are: a) Farmer - Pre-harvest contractor - Commission agent - Wholesaler - Retailer - Consumer. b) Farmer - Forwarding agent - Commission Agent - Wholesaler - Retailer - Consumer. c) Farmer - Commission agent - Wholesaler - Retailer - Consumer.

The sale through pre-harvest contractors is the most important system of marketing. Normally, the small orchardists sell their crop at flowering stage to contractors who organize plant protection practices, picking and packaging of fruits. The medium and large orchardists prefer to market their produce through channels (b) and (c). In H.P., about 65% of total apple produced is marketed through these two channels. Some Growers’ Co-operatives and Government controlled marketing Corporations (like HPMC in H.P.) also get involved in the apple market.

For example, in H.P the volume of trading handled by Growers’ Co-operatives is about 3.5 to 4.0 per cent, while another 2-2.5 per cent of the total produce is marketed by HPMC. The National Horticulture Board (NHB) of the Government of India regularly publishes and announces the wholesale price and market arrival figures of apple in different terminal markets for the benefit of the growers. Some quantities of apple are placed in cold storage facilities.

The Himachal Pradesh Horticultural Produce Marketing and Processing Corporation Ltd. (HPMC) has set up modern fruit packing houses in different parts of the State. Each packing house has a capacity to grade and pack 55,000 to 275,000 cartons of fruits. 5. POTENTIAL FOR APPLES

5.1 Transport and storage opportunities CA storage trials have shown good promise but could still be more developed and improved. Its extension in larger growing areas is needed. However, technology for storage of apple is now known, as a result of which apple is now available throughout the year. Cold storage facilities at the production centers and terminal markets at Delhi, Bombay (Mumbai), Madras (Chennai) and Calcutta have been created. More changes such as the implementation of golden quadrilateral highways and allowing foreign direct investments in wholesale/retail cool supply chain would improve the current transport and storage situation. An assured cool/cold chain may attract more competition into import businesses lowering the existing high trader margins. 5.2 Production Area Expansion

Both North-West and North-Eastern regions of India offer large areas ideally suitable for cultivation of pome and stone fruits. Apple, cherry and pear are commercially successful at elevations between 1500-2700 m above msl. There are vast tracts of land still available for further expansion of these crops. In the North-Eastern Hills, excepting the rain shadow belts of Arunachal Pradesh and high altitude Lachung area of Sikkim, apple may not be successful commercially

7. CONCLUSION Deciduous fruits, covering pome and stone fruits contribute significantly to the horticulture economy of India. Apple production dominates the scene and systematic cultivation and marketing of apple can change the rural economy in the hills of North-Western India.

New vision and concerted efforts are required for change in variety mix, supply of quality planting material from elite clones on indexed clonal rootstocks. High density planting, water management including micro-irrigation, integrated plant nutrient management and IPM strategy for plant protection are some of the areas which need greater R&D focus. Adoption of post-harvest management practices and infrastructure development for grading, packaging, pre-cooling and storage of the produce needs focused developmental attention. Value addition and export promotion, particularly of apple are drawing due attention of the developmental agencies in India. Source:

* Saurindra P. Ghosh Deputy Director General (Horticulture),Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, India. * Corporate Headquarters| | | | National Horticulture Board| | | Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India 85, Institutional Area, Sector - 18 Gurgaon - 122015 (Haryana) Telephone 0124-2342992 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0124-2342992 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, 2347441, 2342989-90 FAX : 2342991 | | | | | | Web: http://www.nhb.gov.in Email: [email protected]| | | | |