The Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik said that the people who are threatening the fruit growers in Kashmir will be ‘punished’ immediately. He said that the Government will protect the farmers in the Valley. He was addressing a function at a market launch intervention scheme for apple growers in the Valley.
"I want to warn those threatening our farmer brothers. Let them change their behaviour immediately or else we will provide full security to farmers... We will protect them fully," the Governor said.
The Governor's warning the people who threaten farmers came after a terror attack which was carried out on fruit farmer’s home left four persons including his two-year-old daughter injured. Satya Pal Malik further said, "We will immediately punish those threatening farmers. So, no one should harass or threaten farmers. If any farmer does not want to sell the product, we will not force him. But, if he is selling and you threaten him and even fire at his two-year-old daughter, then you cannot remain free for a long time."
The Centre recently launched the Special Market Intervention Price Scheme (MISP) scheme in Jammu and Kashmir. The scheme aims at providing a maximum price to fruit growers. It will be implemented in the State by the directorate of planning and marketing and supported by the Directorate of Horticulture, Kashmir, and the Jammu and Kashmir Horticultural Produce, Marketing and Processing Corporation Ltd, an official spokesperson said.
Highlighting the importance of horticulture, the Governor Satya Pal Malik said that the farmers, who belong to an industry that associates close to 7 lakh families directly or indirectly and has a turnover of Rs 8,000 crore per year, need focused support.
Governor Malik said that with the launch of this scheme, many issues related to the grading of apples, their procurement, storage and marketing will be taken care of by the government. According to the scheme, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) will procure and market apples and the fruit growers will get higher remuneration for various grades of apple, he said. The J&K Governor stressed on the need for the farming community to become aware of their rights and strengthen themselves so as not to get exploited by the market forces that can cause losses.
Governor Satya Pal Malik also expressed gratitude to Union Home Minister Amit Shah for getting the whole exercise of launching this initiative in support of the farmers of Jammu and Kashmir which completed within two weeks. Malik sought the cooperation of every stakeholder in making it a success, a spokesperson asserted.