Kulgam apple conference | AFFI demands fair prices, crop insurance

Kulgam apple conference | AFFI demands fair prices, crop insurance

Kulgam: On Thursday, apple farmers in droves thronged Chawalgam area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district to attend the district conference of Apple Farmer’s Federation of India (AFFI).

The newly-launched organisation has been organising the day-long conferences in different apple producing districts of Kashmir since last week.

These conferences are being held to draw the attention of the government towards the plight of apple cultivators and to ideate about how to improve the condition of apple industry, which provides livelihood to more than 3 million people.

Senior CPI (M) leader Muhammad Yousuf Tarigmi while addressing the conference said that the farmland in Kashmir did not produce ammunition but first-rate apples.

“And we demand nothing from this government, but the fair prices of our harvest”, he said.

Tarigami said that it was the responsibility of the government to ensure that the farmers get good prices for their produce.

“The government should make sure that our harvest arrives at the outstation mandis well on time and without any disruptions in Nation Highway”, he said.

Tarigami said that all the hopes of the farmers were tied up with the apple industry.

“Be it the marriage of their children or their education, the farmers always keep their eyes on their produce,” he said.

Tarigami said that the government should form teams of experts and deploy them at district headquarters to check the scourge of spurious fertilizers and pesticides.

“We have seen how these fake fertilizers and pesticides have harmed our orchards in the past,” he said.

Tarigami sought enough subsidies on fertilizers and pesticides on the lines of the government of Kerala.

“How could such subsidies put any strain on our exchequer when they had not caused any problems for the Kerala government?” he said.

Tarigmi said that the farmers should have a choice to sell their produce as per the demand of market

“And for this, the government must set up adequate CA storages in each apple producing district where our small farmers could store their produce and sell it when the prices improve," he said.

Demanding the crop insurance scheme for farmers, Tarigmi said that the government should roll out such a scheme.

“We need a guarantee from the government. The private schemes are not accepted to us,” he said.

Upbraiding the central government for reducing the import duty on Washington apples, Tarigami said that the government must put a blanket ban on the import of apples from outside countries.

He appealed to all the farmers to unite to save the apple industry, grappling with many problems.

J&K Kissan Tehreek leader Ghulam Nabi and Kissan leader Zahoor Ahamd Rather also spoke on the occasion.

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