Srinagar, October 21: Jammu & Kashmir Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha thanked Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and the Union Cabinet for approving Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) for procurement of apples in the Union Territory. The move will ensure optimum prices to the Apple farmers and give necessary fillip to the economy.
“The scheme is a great relief for apple growers. It will provide a comprehensive insurance cover against any obstacle thus helping in stabilizing the income of the Apple farmers. It will also address all issues related to marketing and transportation, in addition, to provide optimum returns to apple growers” said the Lt Governor.
The Lt Governor also observed that the government is committed to take forward the Horticulture sector as it will contribute to the betterment of livelihood of Apple Growers.
“Since 12 LMT of apples can be procured under this scheme, besides ensuring profitability, it will also create rural employment through supplementary services such as packaging, transportation etc., he added.
The scheme was launched for the first time in the history of J&K during September-2019. It was widely appreciated by the growers across J&K. The scheme stabilized the prices of the Apple in the market and ensured to contain the distress sales.
Under the scheme, Apple will be procured by National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED) directly from the growers/aggregators at optimum prices at 5 designated Collection Centres (Fruit & Vegetable Mandies) in Sopore (Baramulla), Parimpora (Srinagar), Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag. The payment will be directly credited into the bank accounts of the growers through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode. The scheme, among other, will address all issues including marketing & grading of apples, procurement and storage. The scheme has been launched after taking into consideration the demands of Apple growers.
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister has also allowed NAFED to utilize Government Guarantee of Rs. 2,500 Crore for this operation. The losses, if any, to be incurred in this operation will be shared between the Central Government and UT administration of J&K on 50:50 basis.
Necessary infrastructure/facilities have been created at the designated Collection Centres for smooth operationalization of the scheme. Senior-level functionaries from Horticulture Department will be monitoring and supervising the procurement at the Mandis. Representatives from NAFED and National Horticulture Board will be associated with the procurement and other processes along with staff drawn from the Horticulture/Agriculture Department.