Apple growers in Jammu and Kashmir are against the entry of Iranian apples as they have been incurring heavy losses and appealed Government of India (GoI) to ban the import of Iranian apples in the Indian market on Wednesday.
In a press conference, President of Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Dealer’s Association and New Kashmir Fruit Association Bashir Ahmad Bashir said that rates of Kashmiri apples have been affected to a large extent due Iranian apples supply in India.
He further added that Kashmiri apples are providing livelihood to lots of people and requested GoI to intervene into the matter and take necessary steps.
He informed that production cost of one apple box is Rs 600, and further transportation charges are added of Rs. 300 and GST has also been increased on apples which are making the price of apples even higher.
“The demand of Kashmiri apples in Mandi’s are less owing to the availability of Iranian apples,” he said. Bashir said that the rates of apples have declined to Rs 1200 per box to Rs 600 in the past few days in the Mandi’s.
Bashir said that the horticulture industry is the backbone of Jammu and Kashmir, and government must make sure to safeguard this sector. He further said that though Iranian apples are selling cheap but the quality of kashmiri apples cannot be matched.
He said that due to sale of Iranian apples at cheaper rate they have made more than 150 crore boxes of Kashmiri apples at risk. Bashir appealed Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene in the matter and ban the import of Iranian apples in the market.