Cheaper Iranian apples: Kashmir fruit growers send SOS to Delhi CM seeking ban on illegal imports
Srinagar: After saffron, cheaper Iranian apples have sent shock waves across fruit growers in Kashmir.
Fruit growers have shot off a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal seeking a ban on Iranian apple imports.
Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Cum Dealers Union (KVFGCDU), an apex body of the horticulturists has said a huge quantity of Iranian apple are illegally reaching New Delhi via Afghanistan.
“Apples from Iran arrive in our country via Afghanistan unauthorizedly. They are illegally auctioned at New Sabzi Mandi, Azadpur -Delhi. The illegal sale of imported apples in New Fruit Market Delhi has had an adverse impact on our produce. Plus the import and sale of proxy fruits in APMC Mandis are not allowed under the provisions of law,” said KVFGCDU in a letter.
Fruit growers sought a ban on the sale of the Iranian apples in New Delhi.
“Imposition of ban to restrict entry and sale of proxy fruits (imported apple from Iran) and sale thereof is, therefore, very necessary. Under the given circumstances your good self is accordingly requested to kindly look into the matter personally and direct all concerned authorities for immediate banning entry of imported apple from Iran via Afghanistan,” KVFGCDU said.
For the second year in a row, apple growers in Kashmir have suffered huge losses due to scab and other plant diseases. Growers said the loss was of the order of 50 percent in 2020.
Horticulture is the backbone of Jammu and Kashmir’s economy. It contributes about 8 percent to the GDP of Jammu and Kashmir. Official figures reveal that seven lakh families are directly or indirectly involved and dependent on the horticulture industry.