Srinagar: The apple growers of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir have said that they have been facing losses for the last half-a month due to the heavy flow of foreign apple into the Indian markets.
The Kashmiri apple growers told the media that cheaper Iranian apple varieties have started making their presence in the Indian market, which has brought down the demand and rates for Kashmiri apple.
The President of North Kashmir Fruit Growers Association, Fayaz Ahmad Malik, said, “Kashmiri apples this year had a great demand. We had a very little apple crop due to which the rates were high.” But now like previous years, Iranian apples are entering India, he said.
Fayaz Ahmad Malik said the imports of Iranian apples have been coming for the last 15 days which brought down the rates of Kashmiri apples by more than Rs 600 per box. “Only two weeks ago, our apple box would sell at Rs1000 to Rs1300 in various fruit markets of India. But now we are selling per box at Rs 800, which is very less given the quality of apple,” he said.
Fayaz Ahmad Malik said they have been appealing to the Indian government to impose a duty on the import of Iranian apples. “Iranian apples right now sell at Rs600 per 10.5 kilograms. It is too cheap to invade our market across India,” he added.
With a huge quantity of apples still lying in stores and cold storage, the Kashmiri farmers are worried that they may face huge losses ahead.
“I have almost 800 boxes of apples in cold storage. Furthermore, a lot of apple boxes are already in the store. If Iranian apple imports continue, we may face immense losses,” said Mohammad Akbar, an apple grower.KMS
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