Despite terror threats and attempts by Pakistan-based terror outfits to disrupt the apple trade in the Kashmir Valley to cripple the economy of Kashmir, the Government of India has come to the Kashmiris' rescue.
The Government's nodal agency National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd.(NAFED) has procured 7940.0465 metric tons of apples in Jammu and Kashmir from the local apple growers as on November 2019 by exempting the provisions contained in the extant guidelines of market Intervention Scheme (MIS) as a one-time measure.
“Apples are being procured by Central Nodal Agency through State agency from willing apple growers at 'mandis' designated by Jammu and Kashmir Administration, at remunerative support prices fixed by designated price fixation committees. The scheme envisages the transfer of the sale consideration into the farmers’ bank accounts.” This was stated by Government in Lok Sabha.
This step from the Union Government has come as a respite for apple growers in the Kashmir valley, the scheme is aimed that more than 12 Lakh metric tons of apples will be procured directly from the apple growers in the valley on remunerative prices. This comes as a historic step as nearly 60% of the estimated annual apple produce of the valley will now be procured directly by the government.
The government has also constituted a State Level Price Fixation Committee to fix the procurement price for A, B, and C grade apples and other incidental charges such as packaging, transportation, storage, and related expenditure. The apple produce after validation cum certification by the designated Committees was procured by NAFED from the apple growers through Directorate of Horticulture, Planning, and Marketing. The payments were made through Direct Bank Transfer mode directly into the Bank Accounts of the apple growers within 48 hrs of procurement by the Directorate of Horticulture, Planning, and Marketing.
This also comes as a major relief for apple growers of the valley who earlier had to wait for months to get their payments cleared. The step to procure apples from growers directly was taken in view of continuous terror threats from Pakistan proxies in Kashmir valley. A series of incidents happened in Kashmir valley after the abrogation of Article 370 where terrorists set ablaze apple orchids and killed six nonlocals associated with apple trade.