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Kashmir's apple growers demand action against Iranian imports

Protests mount as prices plunge and unsold produce piles up

Kashmiri workers pack apples into boxes to be sold in markets across India. (Photo by Kaleem Geelani)

SRINAGAR -- With prices tumbling and unsold produce piling up, Kashmir's apple growers are demanding government help to curb imports from Iran which they say are undermining the centuries-old industry.

The agriculture sector is critical to the economy of the region of Jammu and Kashmir, with revenue of 100 billion rupees ($1.3 billion) per year, and is the main livelihood for around 3.3 million people. The region also contributes three-quarters of India's total apple production of 1.8 million to 2 million tons per year.

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