Holds protest demonstrations across Valley
Srinagar: On the call of Apple Farmer’s Federation of India (AFFI) to observe October 21 as National Apple Day, J&K Kisan Tehreek held protest demonstrations in Srinagar, Kulgam and Shopian.
Raising slogans, the protesters were carrying placards with various demands including declaration of Apple’s profitable value, 100% import duty on apple, universal to be mandated, fertilizers and pesticides to be provided at cheap rates to farmers, GST to be removed from all kinds of products connected to Apple, tested variety apples to be imported and Private cold stores should come under regulation.
The protesters said that apple is the important crop that provides livelihood to thousands of households and contributes 8% of the SGDP of Jammu and Kashmir as per the economic review of 2017-18 but apple farmers are facing severe distress due to lack of remunerative price. 95% of Apple used to be consumed as fruit and currently there is insignificant share of processing and value addition in this sector.
They further said that the major issue confronting the farmers in apple industry today is the denial of remunerative price. Around 30% of the production gets wasted or spoiled at different stages due to non-availability of storage facilities with small and middle farmers. The Srinagar-Jammu national highway remained closed for days together and fruit laded trucks often get halted. They urged the administration to allow smooth transportation of the apple crop from Kashmir to outside mandis.
The demonstration was addressed by Zahoor Ahmad Rather, Mohd Afzal Parry, Ghulam Mohiudin Lone Kisan leaders at Kulgam, Gh Qadir Bhat Hafroo, Ab Rashid Pandit, Gh Mohmad Shah kisan leaders at Srinagar and similarly the demonstration was addressed by Gh Rasool Ganie, Abdul Rshid Itoo and Aijad Ahmad Kisan leaders at Shopian.