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Kashmiri apple farmers badly affected by Iranian imports, demand a ban

Last Updated on January 27, 2021 at 2:18 pm

Kashmiri fruit growers have faced a major setback because of cheaper Iranian apples. Fruit growers have written a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for taking a note of the situation and ban Iranian apple imports.

Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Cum Dealers Union (KVFGCDU), an apex body formed by horticulturists, said that a huge quantity of Iranian apple are illegally being received at New Delhi via Afghanistan.

The Union wrote that our nation receives apples from Iran which are sent via Afghanistan unauthorizedly. These apples are illegally auctioned at New Sabzi Mandi, Azadpur in Delhi. Kashmiri farmers who grow apples have been affected badly because of this illegal sale of imported apples in New Fruit Market Delhi. Moreover, the import and sale of proxy fruits in APMC Mandis has not been allowed under the law.

Fruit growers are demanding a ban on the sale of the Iranian apples in New Delhi. The Union said that banning to restrict entry and sale of proxy fruits (imported apple from Iran) and sale is need of the hour. The Union requested CM of Delhi to look into the matter personally and ordering all concerned authorities for immediately banning entry of imported apple from Iran via Afghanistan.

Apple farmers in Kashmir have suffered a huge loss for the second year consistently. Scab and other plant diseases are said to be reason of this loss. Growers in 2020 have estimated this loss to around half of their total production.

Kashmir’s economy is largely backed by horticulture. It forms around 8 percent to the GDP of Jammu and Kashmir. Official figures reveal that around seven lakh families are directly or indirectly employed by the horticulture industry.

National Horticulture board stated that in 2017-18, the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir produced 77.7% of total apple production in India. As a result, India is the fifth-largest producer of apples in the world. If Kashmir were a nation, then it would be the 11th largest grower of the apples after Russia and Brazil. The Horticulture industry of Kashmir has an annual turnover of Rs. 10,000 crore.