The Himachal Pradesh government on Sunday said that transparent international guidelines have been followed to rejuvenate its Rs 3,500-crore fruit industry and the imported apple cultivars were tested and found to be pest and disease-free.
A World Bank-funded Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Development Project is being implemented in the state with an outlay of Rs 1,115 crore, mainly to protect apple cultivation, a government official said.
The government's assertions come in the wake of reports that some of the cultivars have tested positive for viruses, especially those imported from Italy.
Himachal Pradesh is one of India's major apple producing states, with more than 90 per cent of the produce consumed by the domestic market. The state's fruit economy is worth around Rs 3,500 crore a year, with apple alone contributing 89 per cent of this figure.