Shimla, August 5
A large number of apple growers from all over Himachal Pradesh, gathered under ‘Sanyukt Kisan Manch’, today held a protest march in Shimla over rising input costs and other challenges the apple industry is facing over the last few years.
The march started from Sanjauli and culminated at the Secretariat.
Harish Chauhan, convener of the Sanyukt Kisan Manch, said they have been forced to launch an agitation by the government’s anti-apple policies.
Incidentally, this is the first major anti-government protest by the apple growers in over 30 years. The apple growers had last launched a major agitation way back in 1990 against the then BJP government led by Shanta Kumar.
Demands of apple growers
- Removal of GST on packaging material used for fruits, flowers and vegetables and rollback of steep price hike of trays
- Implementation of Kashmir-like MIS scheme for buying grade A, B and C apple
- Raising import duty on apple to 100 per cent from the current 50 per cent
- Strict implementation of APMC Act and its provisions in the state
- No fee from growers at barriers and Shogi barrier should be shut down
- Buying apple on weight, not carton wise
- Resumption of subsidies given on pesticides and other farm inputs, including equipment
- Immediate payment of pending subsidies on anti-hail nets and farm equipment like tiller, sprayers etc, and MIS payment
- Setting up of a horticulture board
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