Shimla: Adani Agro Fresh has announced new rates at which the company will be purchasing apples, leaving apple growers of the state disappointed. 

Adani Agro Fresh Company has hiked apple purchasing price by  Rs 4 as compared to last year. This season, the company has set a target of procuring 25,000 MT, which is 7,000 MT more than last year.

As per the new rates, the company will buy extra large apples with 80 to 100 per cent colour at Rs 52 per kg, while large, medium and small apples at Rs 76 per kg. Last year, the rate of extra large apples was Rs 52 while the rate of large, medium and small apples was Rs 72 per kg. 

This season, extra large apples with 60 to 80 per cent colour will be procured at Rs 37 per kg, while large, medium and small-sized apples will be purchased at Rs 61 per kg.

Apples with less than 60 per cent colour will be procured at Rs 20 per kg. Last year such an apple was bought for Rs 15 per kg. Extra small-sized apples will be procured at Rs 52 per kg. These apples were being purchased at Rs 42 last year.

The rates will remain applicable till August 19 after which new rates will be released. 

Adani Agro Fresh Company has collection centres in Sainj in Theog Subdivision, Mehandli in Rohru and Birbal near Rampur Bushahr.

Terminal Manager, Adani Agro Fresh Pankaj Mishra said that the company is offering better rates than the fruit markets. 

“This year, the number of small sizes apples are more as compared to other apples, so keeping in mind the interests of horticulturists, the company has hiked the small size apple purchasing price by Rs 10 as compared to last year,” Mishra added.

Meanwhile, Sayukt Kisan Manch has expressed its displeasure over the announcement of prices and has alleged that the state government is working under the pressure of Adani Group. 

The Manch has demanded the state government to repeal these prices announced by the company and to save orchardists from this exploitation by big corporate houses. 

Manch’s Co-Convener and former Mayor of Shimla Municipal Corporation Sanjay Chauhan said that the rates announced by Adani Agri Fresh Company are less as compared to last year. He said that the rates of pesticides, cartons, trays and manure have been hiked by 25 to 80 per cent. 

Sayukt Kissan Manch is set to start ‘Jail Bharo Andolan from August 17.

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Navneet Rathore is a Shimla based journalist having two-years of experience in the field of journalism. Navneet is a post-graduate in Journalism and Mass Communications from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla and is specialised in crime, education, health, environment, agriculture and Horticulture beats.