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Shimla, August 25: The Adani group on Tuesday announced rates at which its Adani Agri Fresh Company will procure apples from farmers in Himachal Pradesh. The opening price for the premium apple is Rs 72. However, farmed expressed disappointment over the prices as last year the opening price for premium apple was Rs 88. The farmers of the state even threatened to boycott the Adani group. Apple Prices Down in Himachal on Weak Demand, High Supply.
Harish Chauhan, president of the Fruit, Vegetable and Flower Growers Association, told The Tribune that he apple growers should boycott the organisation as the prices offered by it were poor. He added that the price-fixing mechanism is arbitrary as no government officials or farmers were present when the rates were fixed. Farmers Protest Completes 7 Months: Rahul Gandhi Says 'It’s Simple, We Are With Satyagrahi Annadata'.
However, the Adani group defended the prices offered by it. Plant head of the Adani Controlled Atmosphere (CA) store at Bithal, Manjeet Shilu, told the media house that prices offered by the group were good as the farmers need not pay for packaging and grading. As per Shilu, the prices were fixed after having a discussion with a pool of around 17,000 growers, who supply apples to the corporate group. He further added that those farmers who always supply apples to the Adani group never complained about the prices.
“Only those growers are complaining who never give apple to Adani stores,” reported the media house quoting Shilu as saying. Meanwhile, farmer organisation Progressive Growers Association also expressed disappointment over the prices. Lokinder Bisht said that in mandis farmers are getting better prices for their apples. Bisht also accused corporate houses of exploiting farmers.
The development came a day after Kisan Sangharash Samiti establishment of the Market Intervention Scheme just like Kashmir so that apple prices should not fluctuate much. As per the report, apple having less than 60 percent colour, will be sold for Rs 12 to Rs 15. Meanwhile, the cost of production per kg of apple is around Rs 25. However, the Congress lashed out at the Adani group over the apple prices and even asked for government intervention.