TAD NewsDesk, New Delhi: In the BJP ruled state of Himachal Pradesh, apple growers had a protest demanding the Centre repeal the contentious legislation. They also emphasized the need for bringing their produce into the realm of Minimum Support Price.
Representatives of the state’s farm organisations, including fruit, vegetable and milk associations, which formed the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha last week, submitted a memorandum of their demands, addressed to governor Bandaru Dattatreya, to the authorities at the district and block levels. Kisan Sabha activists staged a protest at Mashobra, 10 km from Shimla town, and submitted the memorandum to chief minister Jai Ram Thakur.
HP Fruit and Vegetable Association president Harish Chauhan said,
“Himachal Pradesh’s ₹4,000-crore apple economy is facing a crisis due to the unfavourable policies of the state and Centre. We want MSP to be fixed for the apple produce and the crop should be given special category status. The import duty on apple should be raised from 50% to 100%. This will help growers get remunerative prices.”
Nawar Valley Apple Society president Mahijit Rathore insisted that the price of cultivation has increased much more than the previous years. The government’s intervention scheme has not helped either.
“The import of apples from Iran and other Saarc Preferential Trading Arrangement (SAPTA) countries have affected the prices and hit the interest of farmers of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Kashmir.”
Lokinder Singh Bisht, the president of Progressive Growers Association, said besides facing competition from duty-free import of Iranian and Turkish apples, apple growers of the state are burdened by the increase of diesel prices, rates of packaging material, fertilisers and other inputs.
Sanjay Chauhan, a member of the Sanyukt Kisan Manch insisted that the anti farmer laws as not of any help to the farmers rather only increase the prices of input into the production.
All the farmers are demanding a strict repealing of the three laws.
Source: Hindustan Times