All Kashmir fruit growers' association has decried 'arbitrary' price hike in tree oil sprays.
The association alleged that the petroleum companies have arbitrarily increased the price of the tree oil sprays by 30 per cent, and demanded that the prices be regulated by the government.
In a statement here today, the association, which is an umbrella body of the Kashmir-based fruit traders/growers' unions, urged the governor to call meeting of the representatives of the supplier companies "so that the prices of the TSOs are controlled and regulated by the enforcement wing of the agriculture/horticulture departments." The association said the government should immediately direct the enforcement wing of these departments to ensure "supply of hassle-free TSOs, fungicides/pesticides at reasonable prices."
While maintaining that the fruit season 2019 "is approaching fast and the first produce of the fresh fruit like cherry/strawberry will be ready by May, followed by apple crop in June," the association said it is high time that the government regulated the prices of the TSOs and other spray products.
"The TSO/fungicides and pesticides are essentially required in the orchards in February as per schedule of SKAUST-K to prevent the fruit from any disease," it said.
The statement said that during the fruit season 2018, "the growers, dealers suffered heavy losses due to natural disasters like untimely heavy snowfall and stormy winds."
"The nationalized oil companies like HPCL, IOCL and BPL have jointly constituted a pool and enhanced the rates of TSOs up to 30 per cent putting the Valley-based fruit growers/dealers in acute hardships," the association alleged.
"Surprisingly the rate of the tree sprays has been increased when the prices of petroleum products have slashed," it said.