ANI Photo | Himachal’s apple farmers hold convention to discuss 17-point agenda regarding Universal Carton, MIS

Ahead of the apple season in Himachal Pradesh, a state-level convention of the Apple Growers Association was held in Shimla on Wednesday to address various issues affecting them in the state
The growers from all over the state participated. In this one-day convenient demand on their 17-point agenda and demands the farmers are planning their strategies.
The state President of the Apple Growers Association, Sohan Thakur said that the 17-point demand of the Apple growers is being discussed in the conference, which mainly includes compulsory implementation of the Universal Carton, a continuation of the Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) and the demand to fix the price of A grade apples at Rs.80, B grade at Rs.60/kg and C grade at Rs.30/kg the farmers are planning to place these demands before the government.
“Apart from this, the demand for payment of dues of apples was bought under MIS and are also demanding to implement three acts including the Legal Metrology Act 2009, The APMC ACT 2005 and HP Passenger and Goods Taxation Act1955,” said Sohan Thakur.
He said that demand for the implementation of the APMC Act, abolition and exemption of GST on carton trays, machines and other equipment used in apple farming has also been raised.
“These farmers here are planning to raise with the state government that the outstanding amount of apples collected by HPMC and HIMFED from the orchardists should be paid immediately,” said Thakur.
He said that the illegal recovery from growers on various barriers in the state stopped these farmers are also demanding to make available subsidized fungicides etc. according to the apple spray schedule and also the subsidy pending for years for spray machines, ploughing machines, anti-hail nets horticulture should be provided immediately.
“These farmers are also demanding that the government should give high compensation to the apple gr for the loss caused by heavy hailstorms and rain, untimely snowfall and other natural calamities in the state. Among the demands of 17 points the Apple growers also are demanding that soil testing centres be set up in each development block across the state,” he added.
Thakur said that the provision of keeping apples in 25 per cent share to the growers in CA stores set up by private companies in the state is also another demand and to implement it with immediate force these farmers are also demanding to wave off the loans taken by the horticulturists from various banks and institutions should be waived. They also are demanding that the import duty on Apple should be made 100 per cent and it should be made free trade.

Himachal produces an annual average of 5.50 lakh metric tonnes of apples, The Economy of thousands of people is dependent here on apples and their agriculture produces an apple crop generating over Rs 5500 to Rs 6000 Crore revenue to the state.

This report is filed by ANI news service.

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