Save valley’s fruit industry

The government’s recent decision to reduce the 20 percent import duty on Washington apples would have detrimental implications on the fruit industry of Jammu and Kashmir as it would make them cheaper, which the valley’s apple cannot withstand for its survival in the open market. For the better interest of Kashmir’s fruit industry, the Central government must withdraw the order. This will also safeguard the livelihood of fruit growers and traders here who have been suffering heavy losses continuously in the last few years due to the low prices of their produce in the market. The unseasonal snowfalls and several hailstorms have also caused damage to the industry. Now this order is bound to further harm their business. The import of Iranian apples had also caused havoc to the valley’s fruit industry as the consumers purchase imported apples at cheaper prices though they have no such aroma and taste as that of Kashmiri apples. God forbid if the fruit produce from J&K could not fetch adequate remuneration in the market during the current season also, the growers and traders would go bankrupt and their families will die of starvation for not any fault of theirs. Therefore, it is high time that the Central government comes to the rescue of the fruit growers of Jammu and Kashmir and provides them with ensured market security for their survival.

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