CPI(M) puts Himachal apple harvest mismanagement losses at Rs 700 Cr

Shimla: Assessing a loss of Rs 700 crores to the fruit grower’s community, Communist Party of India (Marxists) has taken the government to task over mismanagement of the apple harvest, saying that the authorities let down the farmers at a time when black marketers made a killing.

Sanjay Chauhan, a CPI (M) Kishan Sabha member, said that the government besides under assessing the crop production failed in providing packaging material on time and were grossly deficient in meeting the transportation requirements of the record produce.

“For a crop that is likely to exceed 3.5 crore boxes, the highest ever, on an average a farmer lost about Rs 200/- per box because of the chaotic post harvest arrangements for marketing the produce,” said Chauhan.

Government agencies HPMC and HIMFED, mandated with supplying packaging material were able to only meet 2 percent of the requirements, says Chauhan, leaving the hapless farmers at the mercy of a cartel of corrugated carton and paper tray manufacturers, who at places even charged a premium of over 100 percent of their selling price.

Demanding that farmers be compensated, he adds, bad roads and shortages of trucks, only added salt to injury. For a government declared freight of Rs 30 from a destination, some growers paid upto Rs 120 per box of apple for marketing the produce.

Tikender Panwar, CPI(M) state member, added government by proposing to make vermin compost fertilizer out of rotten apples had admitted to failure of the market intervention scheme (MIS).

While Chauhan puts the overall losses over timely lifting of apples procured under MIS at Rs 30 crore, Panwar says the government needs to lift the rotting stocks of apples from roadsides as they were becoming a source of pollution.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik has nurtured Hill Post for over a decade. A chequered path had him drift from managing family owned apple orchards, to turning a documentary filmmaker, to a journalist - with India’s leading television networks and newspapers, to boot strapping in founding Start-Ups. He lives in Shimla.

1 Comment

  • everyone becomes a chanyakya after everything gets finished with losses and woes….if these leaders were so concerned ..foreseeing the situation… where they were all sleeping before starting of apple seasons… related to road problems or marketing ..

    this retrospective wisdom and muneemgiri of profit and losses is worthless… If they (CPI) are gurus of economic Management or marketing management why didn’t they took a delegation of Apple grower community for pressurize government or ruling…with their proposals ..or management or sorting future problems..

    Leaders too wait for a disasters to happen, wait for public to have suffering..so that they come and act as avatars later…!

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