Save Apple Industry

1 min read

Fruit growers are up in arms against the government for not allowing smooth passage for fruit laden trucks on the national highway. The growers alleged that from past many days trucks laden with fruit have been unnecessarily stopped on the national highway causing damage to the fruit and when the fruit arrives in mandies after days of delays it is rotten and nobody buys it. The cost of each apple box for a grower is around Rs 500 to 600 and instead of profit they lose hard-earned money. Growers even complained that this is first time in the history what they have been witnessing. Even the growers closed all the fruit mandies with a hope it will draw attention towards this crisis. Fruit is mainstay industry or trade of J&K which sustains directly or indirectly three million people and is around 8 percent of UT’s GDP, so anything worse can impact the economy of the J&K. Though growers claim that many officials were sympathetic towards them, however, failed to address the crisis, some even smell a conspiracy in the whole process. After the hue and cry from all the corners, it seems government has started to looking to crisis in a serious way and the divisional commissioner, Kashmir assured that all the stranded vehicles will be cleared within a day.

Currently 1200 to 1500 apple laden trucks leave for various destinations every day and with harvesting on its peak, the number could reach 3000 especially on the eve of Diwali when there is demand for apples in every mandi of the country, with frequent shooting stones the government should devise a mechanism along with fruit growers to sort out this matter by delaying the release of trucks from mandies and using alternate Mughal road, which government officials said the majority of growers don’t want to use due to certain issues. Also, the officials of Horticulture Produce Fruit Marketing (HPMC) should be made more accountable as it is this department which is responsible for transportation and marketing of Apples across the country, it seems the department is still in slumber. This season the growers witnessed a bumper crop so everybody should join hands so this bumper season doesn’t turn into gloomy season and a joint mechanism and proactive officials can save this fruit industry.

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