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15 October, 2014
AMERICAN APPLE GROWERS ARE ABLE TO COMPETE HIMACHAL APPLE
I asked the following question from Himachal apple growers on Facebook. There were many replies. A few selected replies are being given below.
How American apple farmers are able to compete you in spite of the
fact that farm labour rates are atleast seven times more in US than
what we have in HP. The other orchard inputs are also expensive
there. Then it costs a fortune to ship apples from US to India. They
pay some custom duty too.
My understanding is that farming/agriculture/horticulture industries are heavily subsidised in the US by the government as in Europe. This makes their products cheaper and this is the problem that even Australian growers have with American products that are imported here. The 2nd issue - I'd really like to know the quality of the apples that are being shipped to India. Because one of the common practice in Australia is that poor quality products that don't fetch much in the market here or don't make the approved standards are shipped off to India. So the farmers (or generally the middle men) earn money instead of having to throw the produce for which otherwise they would have earned nothing. And then in India they market it as "Made in Australia" and make it out to be big/great thing when infact they are really poor quality produce. Maybe, that is also being the case with the US apples? Instead of throwing or getting rid of lower grade produce, they're earning something by sending it to India and where people will buy them thinking, "Oh American apples!!"
Lack of profess....
I fully agree with you dear Arundhati Ghosh, though unfortunate but it is the sad reality of our time.....:((
We cannot have a special policy only for apple, until unless we are having huge production of apple and the demand is far less than what we produce. As the news paper writes that nearly 2 lakh MT fruits were imported last year, it seems, there is demand and supply gap in itself. What should be done is to shift to increase productivity than to increase prices. American apples or apples from anywhere coming to India are not sold at prices lower than Indian apples. So the fear seems to be driven by lack of competitiveness. Moreover the different governments should be more constructive towards providing solutions to fight the competition rather than giving such foolish solutions like increasing import duties. We ourselves are also exporters and global trade cannot be run by emotions. One thing which can surely be done is standardizing the quality parameters for imported goods, so that India may not become dumping ground for inferior quality produce.
Problem of apple production in India in comparison to other
2. It is difficult to change the orchards. If we remove 20 to 30 yrs old plantation the families cannot meet their financial requirements. More over we are also facing a problem of Apple Replant Disease.
3. In USA the holdings are large and they leave the area fellow for five years and then do replanting.
4. The area for new plantation is too less now in our state.
5. We are giving all the technologies to farmers including new varieties of apples. Lots of farmers are taking guidance from research stations.