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Srinagar: All Kashmir Fruit growers association has sought intervention of Governor SP Malik in regulating the prices of tree spray oils which have been arbitrarily hiked by over 30 percent by petroleum companies ahead of upcoming season.

In a statement, management of this union which is an umbrella body of all fruit associations of the Valley has urged Governor to call meeting representatives of petroleum and tree spray producing companies so that the rates of TSO are controlled and the enforcement wing of the Agriculture /Horticulture departments are directed for gearing up of the concerned staff to ensure supply of  hassle free TSO, fungicides / pesticides against reasonable rates.

The statement stated that the next fruit season 2019 is now approaching very fast and the first produce of the fresh fruit like cherry / strawberry is expecting in the month of May 2019, followed by apple crops in the month of June 2019.

The spray of TSO/fungicides and pesticides is, therefore, essentially required to be applied in the orchards well in advance particularly in the month of Feb 2019, as per schedule of SKAUST- K in order to prevent  the fruit orchards  from any diseases .

During the fruit season 2018, the fruit Growers / Dealers of the Valley have suffered heavy losses due to natural climatic disturbance like untimely heavy snow fall and stormy winds turning considerable   apple crops in all fruit orchards of the valley in the shape of “C” grade resulting heavy losses to the fruit Growers of the valley besides destroying maximum fruit plants of all fruit orchards.

Since the Nationalized Oil Companies like HPCL, IOCL and BPL have jointly constituted  a pool and have enhanced the rates of TSO up to limit of 30% at their own putting the Valley Based fruit  Growers/Dealers in acute hardships. It is not understood when the prices of Petroleum products have already been slashed down by the Government, the rates of TSO which is considered a petroleum product, in what way have been enhanced by the Nationalized Oil Companies of their own.  In case if the prices of TSO are not immediately controlled by the Govt, we are of the apprehension that the Fruit Industry of the Valley will turn sick. It is pertinent to add it here that 10,000. KL of Tree Spray Oil (TSO) is the total requirement for its spray in the fruit orchards of the valley which should be readily available well in advance of Feb 2019, in every nook & corner of the Valley against reasonable rates.

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