A year after demonetisation, Apple growers still feel pinch
As Modi government gears up to celebrate the first anniversary of demonetisation, the apple growers of Himachal Pradesh are feeling the pinch of the move a year later.
For the apple belt, which supplies scrumptious green and red apples to the rest of India, the yield was quite low this year and the growers were hopeful of good returns.
As per statistics of Himalayan Apple Growers Society, which comprises 3,000 growers of Shimla apple belt, the usual yield is about 3 crore apple boxes. It had dropped to 2.3 crore in 2016 and further lowered to 1.7 crore boxes this year. The ripple effect of demonetisation was felt in the current apple season.
However, there was a severe cash crunch in the apple market as the fluidity had reduced due to demonetisation. In the middle of the apple harvesting season, the industry was hit by the introduction of the goods and services tax.
According to apple orchard owners, the entire apple belt, which provides the varieties popularly called Shimla apple or Royal apple, suffered a big blow. The apple picking season begins from end of July and peaks around August 15. The growers pick the produce, immediately pack them in boxes and transport them to local mandis or further down to the plains to Chandigarh, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.
By BOA Bureau