Apple growers' associations in northwestern Himalayas have played an important role in the transition from subsistence agriculture to commercial horticulture, experienced by the state of Himachal Pradesh in the last three decades. This paper is a case study of an association, explaining its emergence and successful functioning in terms of the historically specific and privileged relationship with the state. Furthermore, the convergence between the association's goals and the state's imperatives can only be understood in light of the sociopolitical and geographic reality of the region, which have made horticulture, particularly apple production, an economically and culturally viable development option. Finally, the paper analyzes both the successes of the association in overcoming entrenched problems long faced by apple growers, as well as its not-so successful record in promoting broader social and environmental goals, the key to the sustainability of horticulture in the region.

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