Kulgam, Sep 11 :
Apple Farmers Federation held daylong conference of Yaripora Tehsil in Kulgam with the slogan “Save Apple Save Kashmir”.
The conference was attended by hundred of kisans of the area, a statement issued to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) reads.
While addressing the conference, Mohamad Yousuf Tarigami said that claims of development in Jammu and Kashmir are mismatching on the ground.
Referring to the problems and issues faced by the apple growers, he said apple provides livelihood to thousands of families but these farmers are facing severe distress due to lack of remunerative price and non-availability of storage facilities. All claims of development remain hollow unless livelihood issues of common people are not addressed.
Tarigami said that alarming rise in unemployment has created uncertainty among the educated youth. No recruitment is taking place thus youth are facing alienation. Scheme workers who are getting meagre wages are not being paid on time, he said.
Businesses have been shattered in the last years. People are suffering because of the wrong policies of the government, he said.
Referring to installation of smart meters in urban as well as rural areas, people are resisting the move, he said, adding that the generation of power on our water resources are being supplied to people at unaffordable rates. The livelihood issues of people have been totally ignored, he added.
The basic denial of democracy and democratic rights of the people is seen most acutely in the failure to hold assembly elections. Even after delimitation exercise that was weighted to favour particular party’s interests and reducing the representation of the people of Kashmir valley, the Central government is reluctant to hold elections, he said.
CPI (M), therefore, demanded that elections be held to the J&K assembly immediately for restoration of democracy.
He demanded release of all political prisoners languishing in and outside jails.
The conference demanded 100% import duty on foreign apples, provision of fertilizers and pesticides at subsidized rates to apple farmers, construction of cold stores at every apple producing districts, he said.
Others who spoke on the occasion include kisan leaders Zahoor Ahmad Rather, Abdul Rashid, Ramesh Bhat and Bashir Ahmad Wani. Mohamad Afzal Parry DDC chairperson, Kulgam and Mohmad Abass Rather DDC member also spoke on the occasion—(KNO)