Apple saplings from the US will be imported and distributed to growers in Himachal Pradesh as part of a US$135m World Bank project to improve horticultural production.
According to a Hindustan Times report, officials from Himachal Pradesh, one of India's largest apple producing regions, are currently in the US visiting nurseries to identify what will be imported.
“A team of officials is in the US to review saplings in nurseries in various states, including California, and will return on 11 November,” ML Dhiman, horticulture director of Himachal Pradesh, told the Hindustan Times.
“We have received a positive response. Decisions will be taken after the officials return. The apple saplings will be imported soon.”
The decision to import saplings from the US comes after the state government faced troubles trying to import saplings from Italy.
Harish Chauhan, president of the Fruits Vegetables and Flower Growing Association of Himachal Pradesh, told the Hindustan Times, the state government may consider importing saplings from more countries as the project continues.
“This is a good initiative by the state government. US apples are far superior. The state government should consider importing apple saplings from France, New Zealand and Serbia also,” Chauhan said.
The World Bank approved US$135m credit for the Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Development Project in back 2016 with the aim of modernising and expanding the production of high-value horticulture commodities in Himachal Pradesh.