The Apple farmers of Himachal Pradesh were not able to sell their produce to the consumers because of their low purchasing power.
Himachal: The apple farmers of Himachal Pradesh were not able to sell their produce to the consumers because of consumer’s low purchasing power, which further had an impact on their income and livelihood as 80 percent of Himachal’s population depends upon apple farming.
Mr. Sanjay Dhani a farmer in upper valley of Shimla said that “The consumers this year had a less purchasing power comparatively which did not give the farmers the income they usually get.” The income of the farmers decreased by Rs 10 lakh as compared to previous years he says.
According to Mr. Iqbal an apple buyer in Kullu “I had an income loss of Rs 3 lakh this year as compared to last year where I had a profit of Rs 5.5 lakh”
In addition to the low demand for the apple, farmers have had to battle a shortage of labor. Many laborers who had left at the beginning of the pandemic did not return and thus they had no option but to pay increased wages to unskilled laborers.
Muna Kumar a supplier of apples in Kullu said “We suffered a great loss of Rs 15 to 20 lakh because of the ongoing pandemic as the lack of purchasing power lead to not many people buying the product.”
In regions like Shimla, Kullu, Kinnaur, Chamba, Mandi and Sirmaur where apples are the primary source of livelihood for small and marginal farmers they are trying to recover the losses they have suffered this year.