Himachal Pradesh celebrates a hundred years of fruitful efforts of cultivating apple in the state.
Samuel Evans Stokes, a US national, who later christened himself as Satyanand Stokes, is known as the ‘father of apple cultivation’ in Himachal Pradesh. Much credit of transforming Himachal Pradesh’s economy goes to him. It was him who first brought the commercial varieties of apple in the Kotgarh region about 100 years ago.
The three varieties of apple — royal, red and golden delicious – he brought from the USA, his native country. Initially, the locals were skeptic about the success of apple cultivation in the area. Seeing the success in the orchard of Stokes, some of the locals opted its cultivation in the early 1930s.
At present, apple industry is estimated to be Rs 3500-crore, grown over 1,10,679 hectare and the average annual production is 7.77 metric tonnes. There are more than 90 varieties grown in the state. Apple cultivation in concentrated in Shimla, Mandi, Kinnaur, Kullu, Lahaul-Spiti, parts of Chamba and Solan and Sirmaur. Himachal apples are exported to other Indian states and even other countries.
Apple growers remembered Himachal’s Apple Man, Satyanand Stokes on the 100 anniversary of Apple cultivation in the state. IPH and Horticulture Minister Vidya Stokes, who is the daughter-in-law of late Satyanand Stokes, was the chief guest at the centenary function held at Thanedar.
- Apples originated in the Middle East more than 4000 years ago. The top apple producers around the world are China, United States, Turkey, Poland and Italy.
- About 10% of an apple is made up of carbohydrate and 4% of an apple is made up from a variety of vitamins and minerals. The rest of the apple, more than 80%, is water.
- A medium-sized apple contains about 40 calories. 1 Kilogram of apple provides 500 kcal of energy.
- Apples contain no fat, sodium or cholesterol and are a good source of fiber.