Mustang: Apples worth Rs 500 million have been exported from Mustang district this year.
According to Agriculture Knowledge Center, 6,600 metric tons of apples produced in Mustang this year. Out of the total production, 4,620 metric tons (70%) of apples were exported.
The price of Mustang apples, which was sold at the rate of Rs 100 per kg in August, has increased to Rs 120 to 130 per kg in the first week of November. Farmers said that apples were sold at the rate of Rs 110 per kg.
According to which, the value of the exported apples comes to Rs. 508.2 million. Prakash Bastakoti, head of Agriculture Knowledge Center Mustang, said that apple production has increased by 18.56 percent this year compared to last year.
“After reaching the garden and making crop cuttings and inquiries, it was found that the production has increased”, he said, “Productivity has increased due to the favorable weather, the area and the addition of new plants.”
A total of five hundred and eighty hectares of land has yielded apple trees. Apple cultivation has been done on 1,475 hectares of land in all the five local levels of Mustang. During the crop cutting survey, it was found that 11.37 metric tons of apples are produced per hectare in the district, Chief Bastakoti said.
Similarly, out of the total apple production in Mustang this year, 440 metric tons of apples have been produced based on high density technology.
This apple is produced up to about 20 tons per hectare. According to the center, apple production has started from the new apple garden plants, farmers have started paying attention to garden management and because of favorable weather for apples, the production has been good.
The Prime Minister’s Agriculture Modernization Project is running 125 cooperative/group/private farm programs under the apple zone program in Mustang. Agriculture center has been conducting apple special program as well as apple block program.
Seventy percent of the apples grown in Mustang are exported, while the rest are consumed in the district. Every year traders come to buy unripe apples.
Apples are grown at an altitude of about 2500 meters above sea level. Mustang’s cold climate and irrigated with snow, the apples here are of good quality and tasty. In all the five local levels of Mustang, local red delicious, royal delicious, richard delicious and golden delicious apple varieties have been cultivated.
Tourists and pilgrims who go to visit Mustang take apples as gift. Farmers make brandy, juice, jam, dry from apples that are not sold in the market with small seeds. There are six industries that process apples and make alcohol.