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Apples to now be grown near Visakhapatnam

DC | P.V. PRASAD
Published Dec 23, 2013, 1:40 pm IST
Updated Mar 19, 2019, 2:04 am IST
Temperature at some areas suitable for cultivation of the fruit.

Visakhapatnam: Apples can be grown in the hills of the Eastern Ghats as well and not just in the Himalayas, according to a team of scientists from the Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, that visited Lambasingi in Chintapalli mandal recently to check if it had the potential to grow apples.

The hill area experiences cold temperatures for most of the year. A couple of weeks ago, Lambasingi, which is about 200 km from Visakhapatnam, recorded 2C.

Coffee and cashew nuts are already grown in the area. The organic coffee grown in the hills also finds an export market. Apple is a temperate fruit. Average summer temperature should range between 21 and 24 degrees Celsius during the active growth period. Apples grow best in regions where the trees experience uninterrupted rest in winter and abundant sunshine.

Lambasingi is located 1,000 metres above mean sea level. It is relatively cool even in summer with the mercury between 25 to 30C. The area has a well-distributed rainfall of 1,000-1,250 mm throughout the growing season, which is favourable for optimum growth of apple trees. The area also has well-drained and fertile soil.

 

“Some tribal farmers have already started apple cultivation on a pilot basis. We witnessed a tree with good yield in G. Madugula mandal. Another green apple tree at Annavaram in GK Veedhi mandal has been producing crop that holds out hope,” said Dr Venugopala Rao, assistant director at the Regional Agricultural Research Station at Chintapalli.

The CCMB scientists were satisfied with the conditions and expressed their willingness to support the tribal farmers in growing apples. The team headed by chief scientist Dr Ramesh Agarwal plans to provide 100 saplings from HP on a trial basis.

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Location: Andhra Pradesh




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