Import of Iranian apple via Afghanistan hits Kashmir fruit industry

The Kashmir based fruit growers has decried “illegal” import of apples from Iran via Afghanistan thus eating Kashmir apples share in the market and causing losses to the growers as well as dealers.

Chairman, Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers cum Dealers Union, Bashir Ahmad Basheer while explaining the scenario said that Iranian apples are being flooded into Delhi markets.

“Traders are importing Iranian apple via Afghanistan as they benefit from it due to fact that there is zero import duty agreement between Indian government and Afghanistan,” Basheer said adding that this shady trade has hit our business badly.

The Kashmir based fruit growers and dealers have also written to Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal seeking his intervention.

The communique reads as “your goodself is informed that imported apple of Iran, arrives in our country via Afghanistan unauthorizedly and illegally are auctioned at the sheds of New Sabzi Mandi Azadpur Delhi.”

“The illegal sale of proxy/ imported apple in New Fruit Market Delhi badly hamper the Valley based produced Apple and from other parts of the Country causing heavy losses to fruit growers/dealers.”

The growers stated that illegal sale of proxy fruits in APMC Mandi’s of the Country are not allowed under the provisions of law. Imposition of ban to restrict entry and sale of proxy fruits (imported apple from Iran) and sale thereof is, therefore, very necessary. The imposition of ban on entry of imported Apple from Iran via Afghanistan and sale thereof, at New Sabzi Mandi Azadpur Delhi will be fruitful and beneficial for the fruit growers of our country.”

Kashmir’s Rs 8,000 crore apple industry continues to face a crisis as production and quality this year has witnessed a dip.

In 2019 the apple export witnessed a dip of around one lakh metric tonnes, in the wake of post 05 August 2019 situation.

The crisis for fruit growers worsened on November 7, 2019 when foliage-laden trees got uprooted or cracked under the weight of three to five-feet snow.

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