In a significant development, the Himachal Pradesh Apple Producers Association has voiced strong opposition to the government’s-imposed condition of packing 24 kg of apples in a box. Alleging pressure from commission agents and traders, the association has firmly rejected this requirement and called for the implementation of universal cartons based on international standards for apple packing within a strict deadline of 10 days. Failure to comply with this demand will result in the commencement of a movement, with the specifics to be determined during the upcoming state-level meeting of the Apple Growers Association on June 3.

According to the association, the mandated 24 kg packing condition would only benefit the buyers at the expense of the growers. To ensure fair trade, the utilization of universal cartons, which eliminate the need for separate weighing, is deemed essential. Additionally, the association emphasizes the necessity of imposing a complete ban on telescopic cartons and the stringent enforcement of the APMC Act to safeguard the interests of farmers and gardeners. It has come to light that a substantial scam, involving the collection of one percent market fee from companies purchasing roadside apples, occurs annually.

Criticism has also been directed towards the APMC, as it is alleged that full market fees are not being charged from all companies, including Adani. The ongoing struggle for the APMC chairmanship is cited as evidence of this disparity. Furthermore, the transportation of stone fruits by weight has proven unsuccessful, leading to arbitrary looting by transporters. In light of these concerns, the Apple Growers Association unequivocally rejects the 24 kg apple packing condition, asserting that it has been imposed due to pressure from jobbers and traders. The association demands the issuance of a notification to implement universal cartons within the specified 10-day timeframe, warning of an impending agitation if their demand is not met.

Members of the Apple Producers Association expressed their concerns and outlined the association’s plans for action in a recent statement. The association’s decision to take a firm stand against the packing condition reflects its dedication to securing fair and just practices within the horticulture industry. a