Cheaper Iranian apples have invaded Indian markets, negatively affecting the livelihoods of Kashmiri farmers. According to the Kashmir Monitor, Iran exported 1947.19 tons of apples valuing USD 1.82 million from April 2021 to January 2022.
Cheaper varieties of Iranian apples are being sold as Afghan produce to avoid duties. Since India has a free trade agreement with Kabul, Iranian traders camouflage apples as Afghan produce to avoid import duty. Iranian apples are shipped through Wagah and sold at Rs 40 per kilo.
Last year, farmers from Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh had written to the Ministry of Agriculture to stop “the illegal sale of Iranian apples.”
President of the Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Cum Dealer’s Association, Bashir Ahmad Basheer, hoped that the federal government will ban the ‘illegal import of Iranian apples’ to save the domestic horticulture industry.