Amidst the renewed protests and the ongoing debate surrounding the historic farm bills, apple farmers have been largely benefitted by private procurement centres in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.
As per reports, the availability of these centres has increased the income of farmers and eliminated the middlemen from the procurement and distribution chain. While speaking about the development, a farmer named Layak Ram stated, “Earlier we had to go to Delhi. Now we sell apples directly to the centre here. I gave them 12,000 crates of apples last year and around 10,000 crates this year.” He informed that the payment is received directly in the bank account, whereas earlier he had to shell out more money on commissions and to grading officials, and labourers.
I gave them 12,000 crates of apples last yr & around 10,000 crates this yr. Payment is made directly into our bank account. Earlier, we used to spend a lot on paying grading officials, labourers, on commission etc. Now we save a lot & earn good money: Layak Ram, an apple grower https://t.co/DHjbumg0Zc pic.twitter.com/7UTr1ckdJI— ANI (@ANI) November 29, 2020
How Adani group helped increase farmer income?
While thanking the private player Adani group, Ram Layak informed, “We take care of the quality of our produce. Earlier there was a lot of exploitation because of monopoly. Our labour costs are saved as we have contracted out our lands. We are very happy because we earn more now. The Adani group has helped us.”
Orchard manager Manjeet Singh Dhillon informed that Adani group had been purchasing apples from farmers since 2006. He stated that the focus is on improving the income of farmers. Dhillon added that the production capacity was increased to 22,000 metric tonnes this year as compared to last year’s 18,000 metric tonnes. He also stated that 50% more apples had been procured this year and that 17,000 farmers have been benefited by the increased income.
Highlighting about the procurement process, Dhillon stated that the group has now availed the services of scientists to help the farmers in production to be able to compete at the international market. “There are three collection centres in Himachal Pradesh. The growers get their earnings faster now (directly to their bank accounts),” he emphasised. The orchard manager reiterated that about 90% of the workforce in orchards consists of local people, thereby providing employment and catering to the needs of the people in the district. He added that the new technologies are now being employed to help farmers meet quality standards.