Govt introduces MIP for apples in JK to support local growers
Post by RK News on Wednesday, May 17, 2023
Srinagar, May 16: In a significant development for the apple growers of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), the central government has introduced the Minimum Import Price (MIP) for apples.
This move has been widely celebrated by local farmers as it will protect their interests by preventing tax-free imports of apples from other countries. The decision comes as a major relief for the apple growers in the valley who have long been advocating for measures to safeguard their industry against foreign competition.
Jammu and Kashmir, known for its picturesque landscapes and fertile land, has been a hub for apple cultivation for decades.
The region produces a significant portion of India's apple crop, contributing substantially to the state's economy.
Horticulture has a vital role to play in the economy of J-K.
In 2019, Kashmir produced about 1.9 million metric tons of apples, the highest in the country.
However, in recent years, local apple growers have faced challenges due to the influx of tax-free apples from foreign countries, adversely impacting their livelihoods.
The absence of import taxes on foreign apples had created an unequal playing field for J&K apple growers, who were burdened with additional expenses such as transportation, packaging, and cold storage.
This disparity led to a decline in profits for local farmers, making it increasingly difficult for them to compete with the imported produce, which flooded the market at lower prices.
The situation not only threatened the sustainability of the apple industry but also jeopardized the livelihoods of thousands of farmers who depend on apple cultivation as their primary source of income.
Recognizing the plight of J&K apple growers and the need to protect their interests, the central government has taken a proactive step by introducing the Minimum Import Price (MIP) for apples.
By imposing import taxes, the government aims to discourage the influx of foreign apples and provide a fair market for the produce grown by J-K farmers.
This policy mandates that any apple costing less than Rs 50 per kg cannot be imported, providing a much-needed boost to the local apple industry effectively levelling the playing field for local farmers.
The introduction of MIP brings several benefits to the apple growers of J&K.
Firstly, it will help stabilize apple prices in the local market by reducing the oversupply of cheap imported apples.
This stability will allow local farmers to fetch better prices for their produce, thereby improving their profitability and income.
Additionally, the MIP will boost the overall morale of the apple farming community, as they will no longer have to fear losing their market share to imported apples that enjoy an unfair price advantage.
The news of the government's decision to implement the MIP has been met with widespread relief and optimism among J&K apple growers.
They have expressed gratitude to the authorities for heeding their pleas and taking action to safeguard their industry. The introduction of MIP is seen as a significant step towards ensuring a sustainable future for apple farming in the region.
Many farmers now hope to reclaim their lost market share and regain their economic stability.
Meanwhile, representatives of different fruit growers' associations have expressed their hope that this kind of measure.
Bashir Ahmad Basheer, chairman of the All Kashmir Fruit Growers Dealers, Majid Aslam Wafai, President of The Jammu and Kashmir Fruit and Vegetable Processing and Integrated Cold Chain Association( JKPICCA), Mohammad Shahid Chaudhary, General Secretary, JK Fruit Association among many others have welcomed the decision.
An apple grower hailing from Baramulla, Mohd Ayoub Dar said, "While the introduction of MIP is undoubtedly a positive development, it is important for the government to continue supporting the apple industry in Jammu and Kashmir."
"Efforts should be made to enhance infrastructure, including storage facilities and transportation networks, to minimize post-harvest losses and facilitate the smooth movement of apples from farms to markets. Moreover, providing access to affordable credit and promoting agricultural best practices will further strengthen the resilience of local apple growers," he added.
The implementation of the Minimum Import Price (MIP) for apples in Jammu and Kashmir has brought a sense of relief and happiness among the apple growers of the valley.
This policy is seen as a testament to the government's commitment to supporting local farmers and protecting their interests.
By preventing tax-free imports of apples from other countries. (ANI)