Other States

Apple festival begins in Himachal

For promoting apples and apple-made products by the locals the State Tourism Department on Thursday organised an apple festival for tourists coming to the hill State. The festival coincides with the start of Navratras and Durga Puja holidays.

Inaugurating the festival State Horticulture Minister Vidya Stokes said, apple is the main horticulture crop of Himachal and the backbone of the hill economy.

Hundreds of varieties of the delicious fruit will be on show for tourists during the course of the festival, she said.

A competition was also organised for farmers growing some exotic varieties of the fruit. The Himachal farmers are being given high quality stock to grow apples which are competitive in the international market, said Ms Stokes.

Very soon we would be exporting apples from Himachal, she claimed.

Various hotels and food chains based in Himachal have organised stalls with apple-based products like desserts, apple cookies, apple pies, caramel apples, apple cakes and breads, smoothies, cocktails, sauces, juices and alcohols. “Our main objective is to promote Himachal horticulture industry,” said Vijai Singh Mankotia, Chairman of State Tourism Board.

He also said the department would celebrate World Tourism Day on September 27-28, which would feature an air show by the Indian Air Force and Army along with the apple festival and other programmes.

To promote tourism activities in the State and to create awareness among the tourism stakeholders, a tourism conclave, business-to-business meetings, seminars and travel awards ceremony would be organised to mark the day, he added.

The State Tourism Department is also planning to take tourists to the orchards for plucking of the fruit and to understand its packaging and marketing process.

A number of farmers left their visiting cards at the stalls showcasing their fruits with offers to visit their orchards. The authorities have planned to linkup the horticulture and tourism industry in the hill State, said Mr Mankotia.

The State is already running a rural home-stay scheme for tourists looking for offbeat destinations.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 4:23:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/apple-festival-begins-in-himachal/article6447487.ece

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