‘Kashmiri apples facing negative campaign outside JK’
Growers appeal CM to look into issue
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, Sep 23: If Kashmir tourism sector has in the past become the victim of a “negative campaign” outside the state it is now its fruit industry facing similar challenge.
According to fruit growers, a “misinformation campaign” against Kashmiri apples has made the marketing of the fruit difficult outside J&K.
“Some Delhi-based newspapers are carrying news items cautioning people as well as dealers against purchasing Kashmiri apples citing the growers are using toxic chemicals to ripen the fruits quickly which can prove fatal for human beings,” the Valley-based growers said.
“The demand of Kashmiri apples outside the state has seen drastic reduction as a result of this misinformation campaign,” they said.
“Some unscrupulous elements have started this campaign asking people not to eat Kashmiri apples,” Fayaz Ahmad, President Fruit Growers’ Association, Sopore, said.
“This year our production had already been very low due to the humid weather conditions that were prevalent during season. Now this nefarious campaign used by fruit growers from other states have left us high and dry,” he said.
Ahmad said: “We have been left high and dry. We don’t know how to fight against this misinformation and malicious campaign which has been launched by some unscrupulous elements.”
He threatened that the association will file complaint before Press Council of India against newspapers carrying such baseless and concocted reports about Kashmiri apples.
To mention, Jammu and Kashmir is the major contributor in the overall production of apples in the country.
Other states that produce apples in smaller quantity include Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Arunachal Pradesh.
According to estimates, JK’s share in apple production is more than 64 per cent of the total production in the country. It is pertinent to mention, last year valley apple growers witnessed a boom in demand while sales volumes were quite high.
The fruit growers alleged that it is “a ploy of some vested interests” to put Kashmir economy in shambles and derail Kashmir’s progress.
“We think it is some well thought out plan to defame our prized fruit industry,” they alleged.
Meanwhile, a delegation of fruit growers’ association has met Divisional Commissioner Kashmir and discussed the issue with him. “We were assured by the Div Com that appropriate action will be taken in this regard,” they said.
The fruit dealers and growers meanwhile appealed to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to take cognizance of the reports published in some Delhi-based newspapers and take action against them.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 23 Sep 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 23 Sep 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 24 Sep 2012 00:00:00 IST
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