New fruit processing plant to be set up at Kotkhai – Minister

Himachal Pradesh Government would set up a fruit processing plant at Kotkhai area of Shimla district so that fruit precured at apple producing area could be used to convert it to apple concentrate, Horticulture Minister Mohinder Singh Thakur said in the state assembly while replying to a query of Rohit Thakur on Friday. He said that the plant is under consideration of the government so that apples procured from the Kotkahi area could be quickly used for the apple juice and concentrate. Earlier to this plant Himachal Pradesh Fruit processing and Marketing limited(HPMC ) had to carry the C-grade apple to Parmano unit of HPMC to further process the produce. During the transportation huge amounts of apples are being wasted in the process however it could be used on the spot after a new plant would be commissioned at Kotkhai. Minister said that the fruit processing plant was set up at Parmwano in 1981 which is producing 18000 metric ton apple concentrate every year.  Minister informed that in the last three years this unit has produced 2326.31 metric ton Apple juice concentrate from 28818.89 mt apple by the HPMC. The unit is being upgraded. Anita Dhiaman of BJP demanded a processing plant for Citrus fruit in Indora Area of Kangra district, Minister said that the state should not be known as fruit state but instead become as apple states. My home came under a subtropical area where apples could not be grown, Minister said that in the state two thirds of the state fall in  subtropical areas but enough resources for fruit production and processing have not been done.  He said that a Shiva project was also being proposed by Asian Development Bank project.  After Mar 15 MOU for this project to be signed to bring 45000 hectare area under subtropical fruit. He said that the Shiva Project would help the processing plant for Citrus fruit in Kangra district. 

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