Pipfruit NZ to help revitalize Indian apple sector
Pipfruit New Zealand is reportedly working on a plan to help revitalize a key part of India's declining apple industry, with the long-term aim of having a tariff-free window for apple exports to the Asian country.
Website Nzherald.co.nz reported that grower returns in India's apple industry were starting to decline as production dropped due to aging trees and pest and disease issues.
Grower organization Pipfruit NZ is said to be taking the lead on the World Bank project and, along with the government institute Plant & Food Research, is now applying its expertise to a plan to rejuvenate apple grower in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh - one of India's three main growing areas.
The state has pre-approval for a US$160 million World Bank loan to implement the seven-year project among its 250,000 apple growers, according to Nzherald.co.nz.
Pipfruit NZ business development manager Gary Jones told the publication this was an opportunity to blueprint how New Zealand could act in an integrated way to deliver a new operating system at state level, which could be replicated in other Indian states and other developing countries, and by different industries.
Jones is about to head back to India to finalize the plan, which is expected to begin early next year.
He reportedly said New Zealand companies could benefit from being involved in helping implement parts of the plan, particularly in the education, information computer technology, and telecommunication areas, though any work will be fully contestable.
The plan includes replanting varieties, education and horticultural training, pest and disease control, research and development, and improving logistics such as water storage and the cold store chain to prevent wastage.
Himachal Pradesh is one of India's wealthiest states, through selling hydro electricity, tourism, and agriculture, according to the Nzherald.co.nz story.