Admin mulls implementing MIS for distressed apple growers of Kashmir

SRINAGAR, SEP 21: The Jammu and Kashmir administration is considering the implementation of the Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) for procurement of apples from growers in the Union Territory.

Recently, the apple growers submitted a memorandum to Lieutenant Governor Manoj Singh where they placed various demands including the implementation of MIS in Jammu and Kashmir.

The government is considering the implementation of MIS to provide some relief to farmers as inclement weather since July has curtailed yields severely.

“A prolonged dry spell in the crucial months of August and September has negatively affected the size and colour of the apples, reducing their competitive edge in the open market. The implementation of MIS is again under consideration of the government for this year,” a senior official of the Horticulture Department said.

The Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) for apple procurement in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) was made available for the seasons 2019-2020 and then in 2020-2021.

It was aimed to ensure remunerative prices for apples resulting in overall income enhancement of farmers in J&K.

The procurement of apples was done by Central Procuring Agency i.e. National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation Ltd. (NAFED) through State Designated Agency i.e. Directorate of Planning and Marketing, Department of Horticulture and Jammu & Kashmir Horticulture Processing and Marketing Corporation (JKHPMC), directly from apple farmers of J&K and the payment was made through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) into the bank account of apple farmers.

Mehraj ud Din, an apple grower from Shopian said the MIS played an important role in procuring inferior quality C-grade apples in the Valley. “The UT administration has discontinued it causing much worry among growers. If MIS is not implemented, the growers will be forced to sell produce at cheaper rates,” he said.

Horticulture is the mainstay of Kashmir’s economy with 700,000 families directly or indirectly associated with the sector. Horticulture contributes over eight percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Jammu and Kashmir. More than 338,000 hectares of land are under fruit cultivation in the valley, of which 162,000 hectares are dedicated to apple cultivation.

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