MINGORA: The office-bearers of Swat Fruits and Vegetables Association on Wednesday claimed that they had been suffering a financial loss of Rs280 million a day due to the ongoing political unrest and blocked roads where fruits were rotting in trucks and gardens.

Speaking at a press conference at Swat Press Club here, the association’s office-bearers, including Abdul Haq, Saadullah and Baher Karam, said that most of the people associated with the fruit and vegetable business had acquired gardens on yearly lease.

They said that after their yearlong hard work they were hoping to earn profit, but due to the ongoing situation created by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek they were suffering huge financial losses.

They said that different fruits, including peach, were being harvested in Swat and other districts of Malakand division, but the garden owners and farmers had been unable to transport the fruit to the markets in Rawalpindi and other parts of the country, particularly the central districts of Punjab.

Most of the trucks loaded with fruits are forced to return to Swat, as roads remain blocked in different parts of the country due to protest demonstrations, they said.

The association’s office-bearers claimed that due to blocked roads and the prevailing political situation in the country the farmers and owners of gardens in Malakand division had been suffering a financial loss of Rs280 million daily.

They demanded of the federal and provincial governments to take immediate steps for normalising the situation in the country so that they could save their precious fruits from rotting and continue their business with a peace of mind.

Published in Dawn, Aug 14th, 2014

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