SRINAGAR: In a bid to tackle the mounting issues of “exorbitant rates” by local cold storage and controlled atmosphere owners, the Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Cum Dealers Union convened for their second meeting at the Fruit Marketing Complex in Parimpora, Srinagar. The meeting saw the participation of presidents and general secretaries from various fruit associations across the region.

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A Girana (Fallen) Apple mandi at work in a south Kashmir village in September 2023. Fallen apple considered to be C-grade are either sold to apple crushing factories or sold to distant, off track areas where A and B category fruit can not be sold. KL Image: Shuaib Wani

The discussions delved into the pervasive challenges faced by fruit growers in dealing with the unreasonable charges imposed by cold storage owners. Basheer Ahmad Basheer apprised the attendees of the urgent request from the president of JKPICCA Lassipora for a meeting to address these pressing issues.

After extensive deliberations and seeking input from all present, the union resolved to take decisive actions:

The union committed to engaging in discussions with JKPICCA to resolve issues concerning excessive rates charged by cold storage and controlled atmosphere owners.

A seperate meeting will be held with pesticide dealers to address concerns regarding the supply of spurious pesticides and the misrepresentation of prices on pesticide packages.
A dedicated YouTube channel will be established to disseminate information about issues pertinent to valley-based fruit growers and dealers.

Efforts will be made to advocate for the immediate implementation of the Crop Insurance Scheme through engagement with the Lt Governor and the administration of Jammu and Kashmir.

The meeting also addressed the upcoming elections of the KVFG Union, urging all fruit associations to submit their member lists promptly to facilitate the election process.

Additionally, the meeting addressed the recent natural calamities, including hailstorms and heavy rains, which have posed significant threats to fruit orchards and crops. It was unanimously agreed that a team of experts from SKAUST and the Horticulture Departments should be deployed to assess damages and recommend remedial measures. The union emphasized the critical importance of implementing the Crop Insurance Scheme to mitigate losses incurred by fruit growers.

Despite the absence of some association presidents due to unavoidable circumstances, the meeting concluded on a note of solidarity and determination to address the challenges confronting the Kashmir Valley fruit industry.


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