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Mustangi Seeing A Golden Future In Apples

Mustangi Seeing A Golden Future In Apples

Mustangi Seeing A Golden Future In Apples


Rabindra Dhungel 


Farmers of Mustang district across the Himalayas are busy in apple grafting at this time. For apple cultivation, which has become an important alternative to commercial agriculture in the Himalayan region, it is time to perfect  care for and use prophylactic drugs and other pesticides to prevent possible diseases. Due to the increasing impact of climate change in recent years, local farmers have experienced that apple cultivation in the lower part of Mustang has gradually shifted to the upper part.

In terms of taste, Mustang apples are becoming more popular in Kaski, Kathmandu, Chitwan and other districts than other places. Shantimaya Poudel, who has been trading apples in Pokhara for a long time, has the experience of looking for Mustang apples in the market. Traders carrying apples from the fruit shop in Pokhara by basket also seem to be attracting customers as Mustang apples. According to traders, the wholesale price of apples in Mustang is more than Rs 100 per kg during the main season and it is sold at Rs 180 to Rs 250 in Pokhara, Kathmandu and other cities.

Karma Gurung of Dhumba in Gharpajhong village municipality, Ward No. 5, says that apples are the main source of income for Mustangs. "Many people here have earned a good income from apples," he said. "The government also needs to come up with incentive programs to attract the general public to apple farming."



Gurung had sold apples worth about Rs 10 million this year. He has registered an organization called Chimle Archat Pvt. Ltd. and planted apples in an area of ​​large land.  Awarded by the President as a successful farmer, he said demand for Mustang apples is increasing in major cities of the country including Pokhara, Kathmandu and Chitwan.

"Even though there is a good production of apples, there is still a problem with the road for its marketing," he said.

The commercialization of apple farming in Mustang started only after 2022 BS. In 2022, the then Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Horticulture, with the help of the Indian Embassy, ​​brought apple seedlings from Indian Kashmir and distributed them. According to locals, three apples were initially distributed in each house. Since the expansion of commercial apple farming, which has been growing since then, the residents of Salayata started making apple wine in 2036 BS. Chandra Thakali, manager of Ram Laxmi Distillery Pvt.

 
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