Farmers protest in Himachal: Demand universal Apple carton
Shimla, July 6
Himachal Seb Utpadak Sangh held a demonstration outside 22 blocks in the state, demanding the implementation of the International Standard Universal carton regime.
The main protest took place at Theog in Shimla district, outside the SDM Office, on Thursday. The protest was led by Dr. Kuldeep Singh Tanwar, President of Himachal Pradesh Kissan Sabha, and Sohan Lal Thakur, Convenor of SUS.
During the protest, farmers voiced their opposition to the packing of 24 kg per box of apples right from the beginning of this year’s apple season.
In a two-page memorandum addressed to Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, SUS demanded that apple packing be done according to international standards, making the Universal carton mandatory. Apple growers insisted that the deduction of two kilograms per box of produce should be stopped, and cartons should be sold based on net weight, similar to other products. They argued that the practice of deducting two kilograms, which is applied to vegetables like peas and cabbage, should not be applied to apples, as gunny bags are returned to the farmers for reuse.
The leaders of Seb Utpadak Sangh stated in the memorandum that the state government is trying to portray itself as a well-wisher of horticulturists, but it is actually succumbing to pressure from middlemen and retail traders. They claimed that the Himachal government, commission agents, and traders are colluding to create confusion regarding the sale of apples in order to revert to the old market pattern.
The Apple Growers Association vows to prevent the exploitation of growers and stands united in their fight against it. They are demanding the strict implementation of the APMC Act, Legal Metrology Act, and Passenger and Goods Act.
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