October 30, 2022

All India Apple Farmers Day Observed

FOLLOWING the call given by the Apple Farmers’ Federation of India (AFFI) to observe October 21 as ‘National Apple Day’, apple growers in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir expressed their discontentment with the union and state governments for taking anti-farmer policy steps that have hit the apple economy hard in both the regions, which account for more than 95 per cent of India’s total apple production. 

Village level meetings were held in both regions to discuss the crisis confronting apple growers, following which demonstrations were held outside local administration offices by state units of AFFI. Then, a memorandum with a seven-point charter of demands addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi was submitted to the authorities at Theog and Nirmand in Himachal Pradesh and Kulgam Mini Secretariat in Kashmir. A Town Hall convention was also organised by Jammu & Kashmir AFFI in Kulgam to discuss the issues facing apple growers. In Srinagar, a big demonstration was organised outside the Press Club. 

Following are the seven demands of AFFI for the union government: 

1. Declare apple's profitable value.

2. Impose 100 per cent import duty on apples. 

3. Universal carton to be mandated.

4. Fertilisers and pesticides to be provided at cheap rates to farmers. 

5. GST to be removed from all kinds of products connected to apple.

6. Only tested varieties of apples to be imported. 

7. Private (CA) stores should come under regulation.

Besides these, apple growers of Kashmir valley have also demanded that the policy of regular national highway blockades by LG Manoj Sinha that disrupt the apple economy by halting fruit trucks be ended immediately. 

The Coordination Committee of AFFI congratulated all the hundreds of apple farmers for successfully observing the call.