We’d previously written how one could find red juicy delicious apples soon grown right here in Visakhapatnam, in Lambasingi. Looks like it’s finally coming true. Lambasingi will soon be filled with apple orchards if things go according to plan.
Reportedly, a Shimla-based Telugu apple grower has taken upon himself to make Lambasingi the second Shimla in the country. Velladi Purushottama Rao has been growing apples in Shimla for the past ten years. He is an authority recognised by the Department of Horticulture. It was his interest in potato farming took him from Kondapalli to Shimla, but once he reached the foothills of the Himalayas, he fell in love with apples. He has been growing apples in Shimla since 2006.
He stated that Lambasingi, the Kashmir of Andhra Pradesh, is more suited to the growth of apples than Shimla. An apple tree here can produce two crops a year, yielding fruits in the third year and by the fifth year reaching a peak of 20 KG per tree.
A meeting consisting of 90 farmers was organised by the Department of Horticulture and Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA). The ITDA project director and an IAS officer explained to the farmers about apple cultivation and about how it would boost the economy of Lambasingi.
Two varieties of apples – Anna and Dorcet Golden – were found perfectly suited for Lambasingi. 10,000 plants will be distributed to farmers in January. They would also be given an input subsidy for the next three years until the first harvest comes to fruition.
Previous attempts to cultivate apples in South India on a large scale have failed till now. 300-400 plants were planted on a trial basis at Lambasingi, at the Chinthapalli Regional Agricultural Research Station. Horticulture scientists previously predicted that the first South Indian apples grown would hit the markets this year, but things didn’t pan out as planned. Improper pruning was the cause for this failure. There were also attempts to grow apples in Coorg in 2012, but that didn’t pan out either.