Shimla, Sept 8
Seven farmer and apple growers associations would lodge protest at Kotkhai market
on Sep 13 on the call of Syunkat Kissan Manch after crashing of apple market in the state allegedly due to monopoly of corporate houses, Convener of SKM and former mayor of Shimla Sanjay Chauhan said in a press release.
Seven apple grower and farmers associations including Kisan Sangarsh Samiti. Progressive Grower Association(PGA), Young Growers Association, , Himachal Pradesh Kissan Sabha, Ghayal Parayvaran Samiti, Bhariya Kissan Union and Apple Grower and seb Utpadak association have given the call of protest on Sep 13.
Zila Parishad member Vishal Sangta President of Kayari Gram Panchayat Durma Chauhan
and former Gram Panchayat Pradhan Pawan Chauhan would lead the protest. A 27 member SKM body was also constituted to stage the protest and assemble farmers for the same.
Chauhan said that farmers involved in agriculture and horticulture activities especially apple and Tomato are in deep trouble as they are not getting remunerative prices, MSP and other state sponsored subsidy in the state.
State Government agencies are procuring apple from small and marginal farmers under MIS but they were not paid in cash and being paid in form of kinds fixing very nominal prices. The cost of production is increasing on apple and Tomato crops however the productions and productivity of crops are declining, they stated.
” Farmers are cheated in the market and are facing exploitation in the hand of middlemen due to apathy of State Government and APMC (Agriculture Produce Market Committee as they were not-being paid in time after sale of their produce and even their money is been cheated during the trade and marketing.
APMC are allowing the illicit trades as many fake middleman and quakes are involved in the trade moreover breach of APMC Act 2005 is being made as farmers and apple growers are not being paid on the same day of sale of their corps.
Referring about the entry of big corporate houses like Adani agrifesh, big basket, reliance and Devbhumi etc Chauhan said that buy projecting or fixing the apple rates middlemen have completely controlled the fruit business as it is neither in favour of farmers nor the consumers.
Farmers are not being paid in time by the middle man however the practice of delayed payment to farmers and absconding middle man is quite common as number of cases complaints are being registered every year during the season.
The deductions of farmers should not be made in the forms of labour charges, discount, slashing, name of bank draft charges and bank draft commission etc. The ministers are trying to meet the middleman in the apple markets however the illegal trades are continuing which have exposed the role and nexus of government and market forces.
The farmers are demanding 20 per cent space in the CA store and implementation of APMC Act 2005 verbatim to stop the delayed and underpayment of farmers in the market.
Farmers are also seeking to remove the Horticulture Minister as he is not keen to sort out the apple growers issues and did not understand the logistic of apple trade which renders livelihood to about four lakh house holds, including traders, middlemen, packers and apple workers beside the apple growers, he added.