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Kisan Tehreek urges government to restart Market Intervention Scheme

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Demands hassle free movement of fruit laden trucks, ban on sub-standard pesticides, fungicides

Srinagar: Ghulam Nabi Malik general secretary Jammu Kashmir Kisan Tehreek on Tuesday said that hopefully the Central Government is approving Jammu and Kashmir govt’s recommendations to restart Market Intervention Scheme for the purchase of fruit.

He said: “Under the Scheme the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) is expected to purchase the “A” Grade fruit from Mandies. It is a welcome step, but the problem with fruit growers is that 70% of their produce during current year is of “C” grade. It is because of scab and other diseases which infected the crop due to unfavourable weather conditions and sub-standard pesticides and fungicides. This “C” grade needs immediate attention.”

“If the NAFED purchases “A” Grade fruit, who is going to buy above mentioned Grade?” he asked.

In a letter addressed to Lt Governor G C Murmu he demanded that the government should make arrangements to purchase the “C” Grade fruit as well through Market intervention Scheme, like previous practices which can be provided to fruit processing units at concessional rates. In this connection it is to be ensured that the fruit processing units are made functional so that they are able to utilize this “C” grade fruit. By doing so, not only the growers will be benefited, but the industrial activities can be started which will help to generate employment for the unemployed youth.

Malik expressed hope that the government will re-start the Market intervention Scheme at the earliest so that the fruit growers, who have suffered huge losses due to weather vagaries and other reasons since last year, can have a sigh of relief.

“We express serious concern over unchecked import of spurious fertilizers and pesticides in J&K, due to which farming community is suffering huge losses not only in terms of money spend on purchase of fertilizers, pesticides and chemicals but also due to adverse damage caused to crops, we demand prompt action from the government to check the menace,” the letter reads.

Since fruit season has started, the apple boxes require urgent transportation to various destinations in the country. The fruit laden trucks are allowed to ply hassle free towards Jammu so that these trucks reach their destinations well in time, reads the letter.

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