The government issued a notification earlier last week banning the import of apples that cost less than Rs 50 per kilo. This price covers the cost of the fruit, insurance, and import charges. This choice will prevent low-cost imported apples from entering the Indian market. Farmers claim that the low cost of these imported apples, particularly Iranian apples, made it impossible for Indian apple farmers to compete and resulted in significant losses.
Every year, 2.45 million tonnes of apples are produced in India. With over nine lakh apple growers, Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand are the main apple producing states. These farmers have had a challenging few years despite the fact that they are important to the economies of their respective states. The government’s notification has given Indian apple growers a lifeline. Due to rising production costs and competition from large corporations, Indian apple growers were in the red. The South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) countries are not exempt, according to apple growers, and this will benefit the farmers as well.