A 20 kg box of top variety (Royal Delicious) apple that fetched a price of Rs.1,800 earlier is now being sold for only Rs.900-1,000 in Shimla.

The wholesale prices of apple and some other fruits in Himachal Pradesh and neighbouring States have been falling steeply.

The traders are blaming the farmers for creating a glut situation that has resulted in the fall in prices. Approximately 3.5 crore boxes, about 50 per cent of the crop, have arrived at various markets in the State, Chandigarh and Delhi.

A 20 kg box of top variety (Royal Delicious) apple that fetched a price of Rs.1,800 earlier is now being sold for only Rs.900-1,000 in Shimla.

Former State Horticulture Minister Narendra Bragta, who led a rally in the apple belt of Rohru and Kotkhai on Wednesday, has blamed the lifting of import duty on apple by the Congress Government for the falling prices.

The farmers also submitted a memorandum to the Governor on the bad plight of roads, increased transport tariffs, erratic power supply and shortage of labour in the apple producing areas of the State.