Nepal Minute - out of the ordinary


Mustang has shipped out apples worth Rs500 million this year, with 4,620 metric tons, or 70 per cent of the total production being supplied to various districts across the country. 

The apple is sold at Rs100 per kilo in September and Rs120-130 in November. However, the farmers said the apple was sold at Rs110 per kilo on average. 

Chief of the Agriculture Knowledge Centre in Mustang, Prakash Bastakoti, said that apple production increased by 18.56 per cent this year. 

"The production was increased due to favourable climate, land and increased new plants," he noted. 

The apples were planted on 580 hectares of land. The farming is done in all five local levels of Mustang. The crop-cutting survey had revealed that 11.37 metric tons of apples are produced in a hectare, Bastakoti added. 

Out of the total apple production, 440 metric tons of fruit was produced with high-density technology, which is adopted in 38 hectares of land. 

Farmers have been made aware of orchard management through regular training, according to the centre. 

Netra Bhatta, an agriculture officer at the Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project, said nearly 70 metric tons of apple was kept in six cold stores for off-season sale. The apple price goes up in March and April. 

More than 125 firms, including cooperatives and private, are participating in an apple zone programme under the project.

The centre has been running the apple-bloc programme. Seventy per cent of the apple produced in Mustang is supplied outside the district. The apple is cultivated at an altitude of 2,500 metres above sea level. The cold weather with snow adds quality and taste to the apple.

Tourists visiting Mustang buy apples as gifts. Six liquor factories produce liquor by processing apples. - RSS

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