One of the major complaints against the three new farm bills is that Modi govt is handing over the farm sector to the corporate sector, or to be more specific, to Ambani and Adani. Today a ‘proof’ for the same appeared on social media, claiming that Adani has now taken over the Apple farming in India.
Today some people discovered that there are Adani branded apples in the market, and proceeded to conclude that Modi has gifted them the sector using the new farm laws.
One netizen named Ajay (MalabarHornbill) on Twitter posted photographs of Adani Apples on his social media profile. He wrote, Now Adani apples!! And this lying Modi govt was assuring farmers that corporates won’t take over agriculture sector.”
A similar post was made by Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Sevadal in which they said “Kashmiri’s Apples Not Adanis. Too Much Vikas.” Similar posts were shared on Facebook and other social media platforms.
The Apples seen in the pics had the words Adani and Farm Pik written on it, and it is true that Farm Pik is part of the Adani group. The company is in the business of agricultural products, which buys Apples from growers and sells them in the market across the country.
But it is not that they have started doing this recently after the three agricultural laws were passed. They are doing this for more than a decade. There are hundreds of such companies which buys farm products from farmers and sells them in the market, it is not something that started only during Modi government.
History of ‘Adani Apples’
Consumers in India have been consuming apples and other fruits procured and imported by Farm Pik for a long time. The brand comes under Adani Agri Fresh Limited, a company that was incorporated in December 2004, i.e. when UPA-1 was in power. As per the Adani Enterprises website, the company has been procuring apples from as many as 15,000 farmers in Himachal Pradesh. They have set up Controlled Atmosphere storage facilities at three locations in HP that are Rohru, Sainj and Rewali. Under the brand Farm Pik, the company imports Apples, Pears, Kiwis, Oranges, Grapes and many other fruits.
‘Farm-Pik’ is the brand for Adani Agri Fresh Limited (AAFL) that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Adani Enterprises Limited, part of Adani Group.— Prashant Sharma (@the_wimpy_kid18) January 9, 2021
MCA data reveals the company was incorporated in December 2004. pic.twitter.com/igsJXeYbPq
As per Farm Pik’s website, the company is importing Apples from Canada, USA, Europe, China, South Africa, Chile, Australia and New Zealand. The main source for Indian Apples has been mentioned as Shimla and Kinnaur districts of Himachal Pradesh. The 15,000 farmers who sell their produce to Adani group are spread over 700 villages in the region and comprises 90 percent of the small and marginalized farmers. The logistics and technical support AAFL has provided these farmers have increased realization of the produce hence decreasing the losses in the region.
In 2013, when there was bumper produce of Apples in Himachal Pradesh and the market price fell to as low as Rs.34 per kg, two bulk buyers Farm Pik and Concor (Container Corporation of India) were paying higher than market price. As per a report published in Economic Times, Concor paid a fixed price of Rs.53 per kg while Farm Pik started with Rs.50 per kg and increased it later to Rs.60 per kg.
Other agro-products of Adani Group
Adani Group is not limited to Apples. IN 1999, the group joined hands with Wilmar International (a Singaporean company) and formed Adani Wilmar that owns Fortune Foods. Fortune brand was launched in the year 2000. The company deals in several agro products, including edible oils, sugar, pulses, flour, and more.
Adani Apples exist, but the brand Farm Pik that sells these apples is not new. The company has been operating for years. The claim that Adani Apples were launched in the market after new Agriculture Laws were enacted is FAKE.