New Delhi, Aug 6: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has assured market support to apple farmers through cooperatives.
According to a press note, a delegation of the Apple Farmers’ Federation of India (AFFI) visited the Chief Minister of Kerala in New Delhi yesterday to discuss possibilities of developing marketing network in the domestic market of Kerala through the co-operatives to ensure remunerative price to the apple farmers of Jammu Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The delegation included Muhammed Yusuf Tarigami, Rakesh Sinha, former MLA and Sohan Singh Thakur Convenor of Apple Farmer’s Federation of India (AFFI). The AFFI delegation was accompanied by Ashok Dhawale, President, Vijoo Krishnan, General Secretary and P Krishnaprasad, Finance Secretary of AIKS.
Apple farmers of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are in a deep crisis as the cost of production has increased many folds and the returns to the farmers are declining. The import duty of the American apple has been slashed from 70 percent to 50 percent which will result in American apple reaching the Indian markets in large quantities, the press release added.AFFI is organising the apple farmers on all issues related to apple farming including how to increase the productivity and it's quality by adopting scientific cultivating technology and marketing strategy from farm direct to the consumer. “AFFI envisages developing alternative marketing system based on cooperatives so that the Apple farmer is able to come out of the stress sale they are compelled to make through the existing marketing methods dominated by the traders, commission agents, brokers and corporate companies tend to make windfall profits. The farmers even do not get the money of the sold produce as the practice is to provide the money not at the time of the sale but at a subsequent period or at times the farmers do not get this money at all,” the press release said.