Targets 12 Lakh MTs under Market Intervention Scheme
Against a target of 12 lakh metric tons, the government has managed to procure only 9000 metric tons of Kashmiri apples till date.
Government launched market Intervention Scheme in September this year as part of its initiative to help growers sell apple produce. However, it has received a negligible response from the growers putting a question mark over the success of the scheme.
Of total 20 lakh metric tons of apples that growers produce every year, the government under MIS had set a target to purchase 12 lakh metric tons.
As per officials, the government could purchase only 6.80 lakh boxes weighing 9000 metric tons of apples worth Rs 47 crore from fruit growers in Valley since September 9.
Director J&K Horticulture Planning and Marketing department, G M Dar said that more growers are approaching the administration to sell their product.
“We purchased 9000 metric tons of apples. We are expecting more in coming days,” Dar said.
The official figure reveals that growers have exported a total of 12.5 lakh metric tons of apples which also include apples procured by the government under MIS.
The government procured maximum apples from militancy-hit South Kashmir region. Growers from Batingoo, Anantnag in south Kashmir top the list followed by procurement from Shopian and Kulgam district.
Notably, the MIS was launched in collaboration with J&K Horticulture Planning and Marketing department, National Agriculture Co-operative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) (Ltd) and department of Horticulture Kashmir.
The government has fixed minimum price of Rs 52 for A-grade apple per kilogram. Similarly, the B and C grade would be purchased of Rs 36 and Rs 15 respectively.
The Jammu Kashmir has second largest area in the world under apple cultivation and contributes 75 percent apple production in India.
The annual apple production in Kashmir is estimated at an approximate 20 lakh metric tons, an economy worth RS 8000 crore.