First consignment of Japanese apple arrives

| | New Delhi
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First consignment of Japanese apple arrives

Monday, 10 February 2020 | Rajesh Kumar | New Delhi

Good news for fruit lovers.  After 10 years of negotiations between India and Japan, the first consignment of  light reddish/green and big-sized Japanese apples have arrived in India. These apples are from Aomori, mecca of apple growers in Japan.

Officials of Ministry of Agriculture said that India and Japan has agreed on Aomori apples export to India in December last year.  "The people were made to taste apples at the Japanese Embassy in New Delhi when it hosted a Japanese Food promotion event, "An Evening with Japanese Food 2020" at ambassador's residence," said officials.

Aomori, apples are not only eaten but also put in hot spring waters. The malic acid in apples is said to have a moisturizing effect, while linoleic acid promotes blood circulation and oleic acid softens the skin, serving to replace skin oils.

According to the first advance estimate of horticulture, the Fruits production is expected to be lower at 95.74 million tonnes in 2019-20 crop year as against 97.9 million tonnes in the previous year.  It is mainly due to loss in production of Grapes, Banana, Mango, Citrus, Papaya and Pomegranate.

India is the world's fifth biggest producer of apples, with almost all of its apples produced in just the three hilly states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. What's interesting though is productivity. While the area under apple cultivation in both J&K and Himachal Pradesh is roughly the same, the former produces more than five times of that of the latter. In fact, J&K accounts for almost 80% of India's apple production. Despite that, India import $200 million worth of the fruit every year

Apples, in fact, have a far longer history in India. The origin of apples has been traced to Kazakhstan (the name of its largest city, Almaty, probably derives from 'place of apples') and they spread along the Silk Route, which connected with Kashmir.

The Mughals also brought apples with them. The Nushkae-Shahjahani, recently recreated as The Mughal Feast by Salma Husain, has recipes like Shishranga Saib Namky, apples stewed with spices and then cooked with eggs. Another source of apples was the British.

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