Tribune News Service
Shimla, December 1
There’s a staggering difference of 1.12 crore in the data of the Horticulture Department and the HP State Agricultural Marketing Board as regards the number of apple boxes sold this season.
While the marketing board says 2.73 crore boxes were sold, the Horticulture Department puts the number at 1.61 crore.
Horticulture Department Director JP Sharma said, “We are in the middle of sorting it out. Efforts are on to ascertain whether we have missed some boxes or the marketing board has counted these twice.”
On the face of it, the number put out by the marketing board seems more credible because it collects data from six barriers, as against the three put up by the Horticulture Department.
“We have crosschecked our data and there’s no question of any double counting or any other error,” said marketing board MD Naresh Thakur.
In case the Horticulture Department’s data proves wrong, it will bring into question the data released by it in the past too.
Fruit, Vegetable and Flower Growers’ Association president Harish Chauhan says, “The numbers released by the Horticulture Department form the basis for various plans and policies. Any glitch in these numbers will confuse both policymakers and farmers.”