Shimla : While interacting with senior officers of the Horticulture Department at Raj Bhavan, today, Governor Bandaru Dattatreya emphasized the need to further strengthen the cold stores chain in the State so that fruit growers and farmers could get remunerative prices of their produce. He advised them to develop cold stores in public-private-partnership (PPP).He said that fruit growers should be ensured timely payment along with good price for their produce. He added that the labourers could be shifted from the neighbouring districts of non-apple growing regions.Bandaru Dattatraya suggested to develop sub marketing yards as it would help in maintaining physical distance during the Corona pandemic. He said that efforts should be made to provide packing material to the growers in advance. In addition, helpline and centralized contacts should be set up in each district. He expressed satisfaction that the department has taken better measures in view of the experience of last season of cherries, strawberry and other stone fruits.
Secretary, Horticulture Department Amitabh Awasthi, apprised the Governor about the arrangements made by the department for the upcoming apple season. He said that during this season production of about 30 million apple boxes were expected i.e. approximately 5-6 lakh MT and more production in the high altitude areas. He said that about 68 thousand trucks would be needed for transportation of crops and there would be more pressure in August and September and at that time about 75 thousand trucks would be required. All arrangements were being made to arrange the trucks and to make the transportation process smooth. He also detailed the steps taken by the department for ensuring smooth apple season. Managing Director, HPMC Dev Shweta Bhanik, Managing Director, Himachal Pradesh APMC Naresh Thakur, and Director, Horticulture M.M. Sharma, apprised the Governor about the departmental activities.Secretary to Governor Rakesh Kanwar was also present on the occasion.