The apple belt is important to Himachal Pradesh’s electoral landscape. The apple crop makes up about 13 percent of the state’s economy. Early this year, apple farmers protested against increasing prices of cartons in which they sell their apples, GST, and also big corporations like Adani ‘lowering’ the prices. We hit the ground to hear from farmers on what their issues are, and how it may impact the election.
The BJP has said it will impose a 12 percent ceiling on GST on materials used in the packaging of apples, but it’s been noncommittal on minimum support prices. Meanwhile, the Congress has promised a committee to consult apple farmers and decide upon an MSP for procurement.
But will these promises sway apple growers one way or another? And will their concerns make headlines after the election?