Himachal Pradesh, known for its wide variety of fruit produce, could soon have competition from the faraway state of Sikkim. The former princely state in the northeast is foraying into cultivation of not only exotic items kiwifruit, but also more common varieties like apples, pears, pomegranate, almonds and walnuts.

“Introducing and cultivating kiwifruit and strawberry in this state is one of our success stories,” Dr Ashish Yadav, senior scientist at Indian Council for Agricultural Research’s regional centre, here said. “Given the soil and climatic conditions, there is vast potential for kiwifruit cultivation in Sikkim as also in other areas of the northeast India,” he added.