Bengaluru: Hariman Sharma is a farmer from hailing from Himachal Pradesh. 

Today, he stands as a source of inspiration for millions. 

With his hard work, he has developed innovative self-pollinating apples that do not require long chilling hours for flowering and fruit setting. 

The innovative apple variety is termed HRMN 99. 

Harman Singh was orphaned during his childhood. He was raised by his uncle and studied till class X. He developed love for farming and began growing fruits. What set him apart is his ability to grow different fruits in the same field. Fruits grown in his field included apple, mango, kiwi, plum among others. 

He strongly believes that farmers can start raising apple orchards in the lower valleys of Himachal Pradesh and elsewhere too, notes ministry of science and technology. 

More on Hariman’s success story: 

It was the year 1998. Hariman discarded some apple seeds in his backyard. A year later, he found seedlings developing from the seeds discarded. 

Being an innovative farmer with a keen interest in horticulture, he could sense that an apple plant growing at a warm place like Paniyala, situated 1,800 feet from sea level, was extraordinary. After a year, the plant started blooming, and he observed fruits in 2001. He preserved the plant as “mother plant” and started experimenting by grafting the scion (young shoot)and by 2005 created a mini orchard of apple trees which continue to bear fruits till today.

From 2007 to 2012, Hariman went around convincing others that growing apple in low chilling conditions is no longer impossible. However, not much interest was evinced in the research and dissemination of the variety. Eventually, the innovative variety was scouted by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) – India, an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. NIF verified the claims of the innovator and evaluated the distinctiveness and potentiality of the variety by facilitating molecular & diversity analysis studies and fruit quality testing.

Uniqueness of the apples: 

It is found that HRMN-99 plants having 3-8 years of age produced 5 to 75 kg fruits per plant per year in four districts of lower Himachal Pradesh, Sirsa (Haryana) and Manipur. It is bigger in size as compared to other varieties, with very soft, sweet, and juicy pulp and striped-red over yellow skin colour during maturity.