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Fruit cartons witness abrupt price hike, fruit growers worried

Post by on Friday, August 12, 2022

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Baramulla, August 11: The apple growers in parts of north Kashmir have shown resentment against the recent price hike in fruit packaging boxes and appealed to the Union Territory administration to look into the concerns pertaining to the fruit growers. 
The fruit growers claimed that the price hike on boxes has increased the cost of packing by nearly fifty percent.
President of the Sopore Fruit Growers’ Association, Fayaz Ahmad Malik told Rising Kashmir that the considerable price increase has hurt their business because the selling price has remained the same. 
“This uncalled price hike has raised our production costs, while the selling price has remained the same. Earlier the wooden box used to cost the fruit growers from Rs 50 and Rs 60 and now the current market value of the same box is from Rs 110 to Rs 120. Similarly the cost of a cardboard box was Rs 35 to Rs 40 earlier and now it costs us from Rs 60 to Rs 70,” Malik said. 
The fruit growers said that the price increase in wooden boxes or cardboard boxes were usually between 1% and 2% annually, which was tolerable, but this year’s increase has been altogether double. 
Malik said that the cost of fertilizers, pesticides and essential packaging materials, such as paper and grass has also doubled over time but the selling price of fruit is either remaining constant or showing a decrease.
“We are not able to make a profit out of our business. It seems that we have to wind up our business and start doing something else. Fruit industry is the backbone of our economy and this is being targeted time and again,” he said.
A fruit grower in Sopore, Muneeb Dar said that the suppliers hoard the material and sell it at inflated prices during the peak season to earn more profit.
“The fruit industry is highly unregulated. Lack of monitoring enables suppliers to stock the goods and charge higher prices. There is no one to ask them or to regulate the prices,” Muneeb added.
President of the Sopore Fruit Growers’ Association, Fayaz Ahmad Malik appealed to the UT administration and local administration to look into the matter and asked to establish a monitoring committee who can set the price of packaging material and regulate the prices so that the fruit growers will not have to suffer all the time. 

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