Srinagar: Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Cum Dealers Union (KVFGDU) has sent SoS to the central and union territory government over the massive flow of Iranian apples into Indian markets.
The KVFGDU Tuesday shot letters to Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, Vice Chairman, Niti Ayoug, Suman K Bery, Chief Minister Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha apart from the concerned department, seeking attention over the flow of Iranian apple via Wagah border.
The apple growers and dealers’ association in the letter expressed their apprehension of suffering heavy losses due to the invasion by Iranian apples.
“Heavy Flow of Iranian apple in the name of Afghanistan via Wagah Border in the Indian Markets has again started bothering valley fruit growers who are already having apprehensions of suffering heavy losses. The Valley based fruit growers who were hopeful of compensating their losses during festive season, are now again pushed into mental agony,” the letter reads.
The KVFGDU in the letter mentioned that the rates of Garde ‘A’ Kashmir apples has reduced by Rs 600 per box. “Only two weeks ago, Kashmiri Apple box would sell at Rs. 1000-1300 per box in various fruit markets of India but now the same sells at Rs.800 per box. The Valley Based Fruit Growers are, therefore, extremely worried of the situation,” it said.
The apple growers and dealers’ union in the letter highlighted that the heavy flow of Iranian Apple is not only disastrous for small and marginal growers of Kashmir, Himachal and Uttarakhand “but also results huge losses to state exchequer.”
The apple growers and dealers has appealed the Central and UT government to ban the import or impose 100 percent excise duty on Iranian apples.
“Under the circumstances explained above the Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Cum Dealers Union which is an elected apex body of all Fruit Growers Associations of the valley appeal your goodself kindly consider imposition of ban or alternatively imposition of 100 % excise duty on arrival of Iranian Apple in the Indian Markets so that the Fruit Growers of Valley, Himachal and Uttarakhand will feel a sigh of relief,” the letter reads.
The apple growers and dealers mentioned that the weather vagaries damaged a major proportion of the apple crop this year.
“Drought like conditions, hailstorm and strong winds severely damaged fruit orchards in the valley as a result 40 percent of the apple crop is either grade2 or Grade 3,” the letter reads.