J&K: Procure 12 Lakh MT apple

J&K govt rolls out special scheme to procure 12 Lakh Metric Tonnes apple from farmers at remunerative prices

@DrJitendraSinghJammu & Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik today rolled out the Central government’s Special Market Intervention Price Scheme (MISP) for apple produce. The scheme will exclusively cover procurement of nearly 12 Lakh Metric Tonnes of apple produce this season from apple growers of Kashmir Division at remunerative prices. The launch function was organized at Directorate of Horticulture in Srinagar. It was attended by top officials of the State Administration.

Speaking on the occasion, Governor Malik said the Central Government formulated the Scheme within a week according it top priority keeping in view the importance of economic interests of apple growers of the Valley. He said the Scheme is going to be historic in Jammu & Kashmir. He said such a special scheme is being introduced wherein nearly 60 per cent of the estimated annual Apple production, which last year stood at 20 Lakh MTs, will be procured from Apple growers nearer their door steps. The Governor said the scheme is expected to enhance the income of the growers in the Valley by about 2000 crore rupees.

The period of procurement would be from 1st September to 1st March next year, that is six months. The fund requirement for the scheme has been estimated at 8,000 crore rupees.  Under the scheme, the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, and the National Agriculture Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) will procure Apples from growers and aggregators so as to ensure remunerative prices for the crop. While the nodal procurement agency from Government of India will be NAFED, the Nodal procurement agency from Government of Jammu and Kashmir will be the Directorate of Horticulture, Planning and Marketing, supported by the Directorate of Horticulture and the JKHPMC.

The Apple will be procured from the growers and aggregators at fruit mandis situated at Sopore in Baramulla, Parimpora in Srinagar, Shopian and Batengo in Anantnag). The necessary facilities and infrastructure is being created at these Mandis for smooth operationalization of the scheme. The Government will constitute a State Level Price Fixation Committee for fixing the price of the Apple based on its variety and grade. It will fix the procurement price for A, B and C grade apple and other incidental charges like packaging, transportation, storage and related expenditure. Officials said that after finalization of all the requisite procurement process, the payment of Apple consignments shall be made directly into bank accounts of growers within a period of 48 hrs.

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