Apple Farmers Federation of Kashmir organizes District conference with the slogan "Save Apple Save Kashmir" at Anantnag

 Srinagar, Aug 26(KNS) A Day long conference’ of Apple Farmers' Federation of Kashmir was held on Saturday at Dak Banglow, Anantnag which was presided over by  Ghulam Hassan Ganie ,kisan leader with a  call to ‘Save Apple, Save Kashmir’.

The conference began by condoling the said demise of trade union leaders Gh Hassan Harga and Abdul Rashid Dada who passed away recently.


The conference discussed several issues confronting the apple economy. These issues included dwindling prices, lack of state support leading to increased input costs, stagnation in productivity, the necessity for adequate and subsidized cold chain infrastructure, and the impact of extreme climatic disturbances like hailstorms. 


While inaugurating the conference veteran Kisan leader Ghulam Nabi Malik expressed serious concern over the plight of orchardists  in the region. He said that apple growers have been neglected by the government despite the major chunk of the population being dependent on this sector. He said the amendments to the land laws have created uncertainty and distress among the poor peasant community. 


Mohamad Yousuf Tarigami while addressing the conference said that apple is the important crop that provides livelihood to thousands of households and contribute 8% of the GDP of J&K as per the economic review of 2017-18 but apple farmers are facing severe distress due to lack of remunerative price. 95% of apple used to be consumed as fruit and currently there is an insignificant share of processing and value addition in this sector.


He further said that the major issue confronting the farmers in the apple industry today is the denial of remunerative price.  Around 30% of the production is wasted or spoiled at different stages due to non-availability of storage facilities with small and middle farmers. 


Demands put forth in the conference included 100% import duty on foreign apple provision of fertilizers and pesticides at cheap and subsidized rates to apple farmers,GST to be removed from all kinds of products related to the apple industry,contruction of cold stores at every apple producing Block so that the apple could be despatched to the markets in installments and not in a way which will flood the markets and reduces the prices.


It was impressed that the market intervention scheme which has been stopped should be reviewed from the current apple harvesting season so that small farmers could sell their produce at reasonable pricces.


Several resolutions including hassle free movement of apple laden trucks on National Highway from Kashmir to different mandis of the country should be given top priority.The marketing of spurious pesticides, fungicides, other chemicals and fertilizers should be stopped altogether.In this connection labortory for testing theses chemicals and fertilizers must be established by the Horticulture department. One of the specially stressed resolution related to the introduction and expansion of high density apple varieties. In this connection the conference urged upon the government  that the individual schemes regarding high density orchards should be implemented by the Horticulture department and should not be handed over to private individuals or companies .The apple orchardists who opt for such schemes shall be provided loan with subsidy  in advance so that more and more farmers can opt for this profitable scheme.(KNS).


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