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)|
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.|...