Mounting packaging cost has been worrying apple growers in the valley. Growers claim that the rates of the wooden boxes have doubled this year. The price of each cardboard box has increased by Rs 30 this season. The Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Dealers Association said the wooden boxes which would cost Rs 55 per box last year, are being sold at Rs110-120 this season.
“Farmers have incurred heavy losses. The rates of wooden boxes have increased by more than 100 percent,” said Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Dealer’s Association Bashir Ahmad Bashir.
What has aggravated the situation is that despite escalation the wooden boxes are in short supply. “Massive use of the poplar wood by ply industries has led to the cost escalation. This year, many new plywood industries have come up. They buy poplar trees at high rates/ It has led to the shortage of wooden boxes in the market. Moreover, the sawmill owners have also increased the rates,” Bashir added.
Similarly, the rates of cardboard boxes too have surged. “A cardboard box would cost Rs 35-40 last season. But now it is sold at Rs 60 per box. Eighteen percent GST on packaging material too has hit the industry,” he said.
[ Rs 100 = €1.20 ]