Shimla: Orchard owners on Monday held demonstrations in an apple growing belt and demanded immediate payment for the fruit procured by government agencies under market intervention scheme (MIS) last year.
Grouped under the Himachal Pradesh Apple Growers Association banner, Rakesh Singha, Kuldeep Tanwar, Sanjay Chauhan, Onkar Shad and other communist leaders held demonstrations at Narkanda, Theog, Manali, Kotkhai, Karsog, Shimla and other places.
Under the MIS scheme, government agencies HPMC and HIMFED had procured large quantities of fruit from the growers in 2010, the payments for which are still to be released.
â€œWe are demanding that famers be given their payment immediately for a crop bought in the autumn of 2010, says Rakesh Singha. The leaders also submitted a memorandum addressed to the chief minister the rough the deputy commissionerâ€™s office.
The association says that the apple fruit alone generates an annual economy of Rs 3000 crore and is spread over an area of 99564 hectarres across 9 districts.
However, the destructive policies being run the BJP government has severely damaged the sustainability of the famers main cash crops, said Sanjay Chauhan.
Other demands raised by the association include compensating farmers for crops damaged by hail, repair of rural roads, extending crop insurance for apple to all blocks and declaring remunerative prices for the fruit.