Indian MP demands special product tag for Himachal apple

MP Virender Kashyap today demanded the inclusion of the Himachal apple in the special product category to safeguard the livelihood and economy of apple growers.

Kashyap requested Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu to increase the import duty on apples from the WTO-bound rate of 50% to check the import the surge from the US, Australia, New Zealand and China. He said it was a matter of concern that the apple imports from these countries had increased from 122,265 tonnes to 300,000 tonnes in the last five years, as this had adversely affected domestic apple growers.

“The rate of domestic apples available has plummeted in the market, causing huge losses to the growers,” he said. “The Indian consumers’ craze for foreign apples lowered the demand for domestic apples, although the delicious Himachali apple far surpasses imported fruit in taste and quality.” According to Kashyap, these apples are the source of income of more than 160,000 families in the state, being cultivated in 9 out of 12 districts.

According to a article, Kashyap requested the Union Minister to direct government agencies to undertake innovative research on domestic apple cultivation and to enhance infrastructural elements like cold storage and food processing facilities in the apple growing belt. Study tours of growers to the developed countries should also be arranged.

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