Apple vs Apple
News Kashmir Exclusive
Kashmir Apple industry is the main bulwark of the economy of Kashmir.Jammu & Kashmir boasts of around 80% share of total apple produced in the country. Apple cultivation and its value chain is one of the main stays of rural economy with revenue of around Rs. 1500 crores.Since sometimes the entry of Iranian Apple is threatning the apple sector of Kashmir . With horticulture associated people of Kashmir expressing concern. The expert pulse is that Apple industry is the main source of income and employment for millions of souls in the Kashmir valley and every thing should be done to preserve it .Recently ,Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Cum Dealer Union urged the government of India to ban illegal import of Iranian apple which is being imported under the garb of Afghan apples through Wagah Border.
Fruit growers have sought the intervention of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to safeguard the interests of local fruit growers.
As they say that illegal import of Iranian Apple is eating the share of Kashmiri apple and inflicting losses upon fruit growers.
President, Kashmir fruit growers Union, Bashir Ahmad Basheer said “Iranian Apple via Afghanistan is imported by various traders and its illegal sale thereof is made in our country, as there is zero import duty agreement between Indian government and Afghanistan which is severely hitting our business and causing huge losses to local fruit growers.On the otherhand, Iran has exported 74,900 tons of fresh apples to India during the 2020/21 apple season (August-July), increasing exports by three times, the East Fruit website reported.
Based on the report, India has registered the largest increase in fresh apple imports among other countries during the mentioned period.
The volume of apple exports to India during the said time span exceeded 400,000 tons, having doubled compared to the 2019/20 season.To the disappointment of Kashmir fruit growers, the world-famous Kashmiri apples and one of the mainstays of Kashmir’s economy have not fetched a good market price since 2012. In fact, the rates have remained constant, and on some occasions, even declined.On the otherhand, Apple growers in Kashmir are incurring heavy losses due to “distress sale” of the fruit prompted by acute paucity of Controlled Atmosphere (CA) storage, growers and officials said.
As per available data, Kashmir produces 20 lakh metric tonnes of apples annually. But with only 1.80 lakh metric tonnes of CA storage capacity, growers are compelled to sell their produce at a relatively lower price due to fear of the fruit getting perished.One hopes that the concerns of Kashmir Apple industry posed by Iranian Apple industry would be taken into consideration.