In Himachal Pradesh’s apple economy, about ¥Suffering from high input costs and a fluctuating market of 6,000 kroner, Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella organization of agricultural cooperatives, has asked the state government to exclude fruits from free trade agreements and impose 100% import duties on foreign countries. urged to impose Apple.
The SKM has submitted a 20-point demand charter to the new parliamentary government in hopes of “understanding the plight of fruit growers and providing them with relief.”
“The last few years have been very tough for the horticulture sector. Especially in the post-Covid era, when production costs have risen exponentially, prices for our agricultural commodities have remained the same and in some cases have fallen. There have even been times,” said SKM.
The horticultural sector will continue to suffer and become unsustainable unless strong measures are taken soon, he added.
The SKM also called for the implementation of a market intervention scheme in Himachal on lines in Jammu and Kashmir, eliminating GST on packaging materials and clearing pending membership fee values. ¥Rs. 900 crore for farmers in addition to restoration of subsidies for pesticides, fungicides and other inputs.
Lokinder Singh Bisht, who heads the Progressive Growers Association, said the issue of low-priced apple imports from Iran needs to be addressed by the central government. “Phytosanitary inspections should be rigorous, the central government should be encouraged to include apples in a special category, and tariffs on apples should be increased,” he added.
“We need to calculate the current cost of production and, bearing in mind the cost of inputs, determine the price of culled fruit. The price of apples procured under the market intervention scheme will ¥20,” he added.
The Himachal Pradesh Horticultural Agricultural Products Marketing and Processing Corporation (HPMC) should also consider setting up a factory to produce ethanol from apples and other fruits, creating an opportunity to convert procured agricultural products into industrial ethanol. Bisht said.
“HPMC should also be able to offer machinery, fertilizers and pesticides at below market prices by sourcing directly from manufacturers. Pickups and light transport vehicles should be allowed to register as private vehicles.” he added.
Former Shimla mayor and SKM co-convener Sanjay Chauhan said policies should be devised to cover the losses suffered by fruit growers.
The government must abandon farmer loans and take steps to strengthen existing marketing facilities, he added.
“The government should also amend the MSP for apples and other crops and amend the price of apples sourced by corporate CA stores. We need to provide subsidies,” he added.
SKM urged the Prime Minister to convene a meeting to resolve all issues and meet the “real needs” of farmers and fruit growers.