HP apple growers dissatisfied with opening prices announced by Adani
The fruit supply chains in Himachal have announced a marginal increase in the opening price for A-grade premium apples for ₹76 per kilogram against ₹72 it offered last year
Sanyukt Kisan Manch, an umbrella organisation of different farmers’ unions, have rejected the prices announced by Adani Agri Fresh – a company that imports fruit. sourced from farmers in Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir.
The fruit supply chains in Himachal have announced a marginal increase in the opening price for A-grade premium apples for ₹76 per kilogram against ₹72 it offered last year.
Farmers in Himachal, where apples account for 13.5% of the state gross domestic product, fear that the opening prices offered by Adani Agri Fresh Limited may impact the fruit’s prices in the local market.
Adani Agri Fresh is one of the biggest corporate buyer of apples in Himachal. It owns three controlled atmospheric pressure stores in Himachal, including one in Sainj and another in Rohru.
The markets had crashed drastically last year after Adani Agri Fresh opened its price. Consequently, farm unions took to the roads and staged protests outside their stores in Himachal.
Last year, the ₹5,500-crore apple business, which mostly runs on the free market model, was dealt a major setback right at the beginning of the season when the Adani group announced its opening price for A-grade premium quality apples at just ₹72 per kg, much lower than the ₹88 per kg it offered in 2020.
“Our price for large, medium and small grades is ₹4 more as compared to the last year. Also, we have increased ₹6 to ₹8 on extra small and pitu (walnut size) in response to the feedback from the farmers, said Pankaj Mishra, assistant manager, Adani Agri Fresh.
Sanyukt Kisan Manch is up in arms against the government over its long-pending demands and accused it of failing to protect their interest.
“New opening prices announced today have made it clear that the government is working under pressure from Adani and other companies. It is giving them a free hand to them exploit and loot apple growers,” said Sanjay Chauhan, co-convener of the farm body.
The farmer’s union that gheraoed the Himachal Pradesh secretariate, demanded the government to intervene immediately to revise the prices.
The Himachal government had announced to form a committee comprising experts to work out prices with fruit supply chains in Himachal.
The manch has already announced ‘Jail Bharo Andolon’ on August 17.
Harish Chauhan, convener of the farm union, announced that they would intensify the movement against the government till it accepts all their demands.
Farmers’ unions have already held one round of talks with chief minister Jai Ram Thakur and handed over 20-point demand charter.
It had demanded a roll back in GST on apple packaging material, particularly the tray and cartons used for packing, besides restoration of subsidy.
“In a meeting held under the chairmanship of Jai Ram Thakur with representatives of Manch on July 28, the chief minister had assured to constitute a committee for fixing the prices for apples being purchased. The government then assured that its committee will comprise representatives of the apple growers,” he added.