Report by Jag Mohan Thaken
21 January 2024, Chandigarh: Apple Farmers’ Federation of India (AFFI) in its first National Conference in Chandigarh on Friday has decided to participate in the agitation with the other farmers’ unions and exhorted the Apple farmers to join January 26 Tractor Parade and February 16 Grameen bandh agitations.
The First National Conference of the Apple Farmers’ Federation of India (AFFI) was organized in Cheema Bhawan Chandigarh on 18 January 2024 with the participation of apple farmers from Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. This conference has decided to launch intensive campaigns on the livelihood issues of apple growers from the village level in the country’s apple belt and lend its strength to the 26 January tractor parade and 16 February Grameen Bandh against the anti-farmer policies of the Union government and the betrayal of the promises made by PM Modi to farmers’ organizations during the suspension of the Kisan Andolan at Delhi borders.
A total of 85 delegates from all three states participated in the proceedings. Flag hoisting was done by former MLA Rakesh Singha while the Conference was inaugurated by P Krishnaprasad Finance Secretary of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS).
On 18 January, a report was placed by Sohan Singh Thakur convenor of the organizing committee. The report was adopted unanimously after a thorough discussion.
The Conference passed resolutions against the amendment made to land laws in J&K and recently also adopted a charter of demands which was presented by Rakesh Singha. The Conference has demanded remunerative prices for apples universal packaging, freight charges, cold storage, imposition of 100% import duty on apples, insurance against climate change and diseases, state support for producer cooperatives, etc. The Conference has decided to enroll a total membership of 56,000 growers till the end of 2024. The AFFI currently has a membership strength of roughly 10,000 growers.
The group has conference has elected an 11-member coordination committee. Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami former MLA from Kulgam J&K and Rakesh Singha were elected as Coordinators. The delegate session concluded with a rousing speech by AIKS General Secretary Comrade Vijoo Krishnan.
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