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Cabinet asks NAFED to procure 12 lakh tonne apple in J&K under MIS

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LG welcomes decision, vows to take forward horticulture sector

New Delhi/Srinagar: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the extension of a scheme under which cooperative NAFED will procure 12 lakh tonne apple in Jammu and Kashmir during the current 2020-21 season.

National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) has also been allowed to use the government guarantee of Rs 2,500 crore for this operation. The losses, if any, will be shared between the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir government on a 50:50 basis.

A decision in this regard was taken in the Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The Union Cabinet approved the extension of Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) for apple procurement in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) for the current season also i.e. 2020-21 on the same terms and condition as was done in J&K during last season 2019-20,” an official statement said.

About 12 lakh tonne apple can be procured under this scheme directly from apple growers of Jammu and Kashmir, and the payment will be made through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) into their bank account, it added.

“This will provide an effective marketing platform for apple growers and will facilitate the employment generation for the local people. It will ensure remunerative prices for apple, resulting in the overall income enhancement of farmers in J&K,” the statement said.

According to the government, procurement will be undertaken by the central procuring agency NAFED through the state-designated agency Directorate of Planning and Marketing, Department of Horticulture, and Jammu and Kashmir Horticulture Processing and Marketing Corporation (JKHPMC).

The constituted Designated Price Committee of last season will be continued for the fixation of the price of various varieties and grades of apples for this season also. The Union Territory administration of J&K will ensure the provision of basic amenities in the designated mandis.

Smooth and continuous implementation of the procurement process will be monitored by the constituted Monitoring Committee under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary at the central level and constituted implementation and Coordination Committee under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary at the UT level, it added.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Wednesday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union Cabinet for approving Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) for procurement of apples in the Union Territory saying the move will ensure optimum prices to the apple farmers and give necessary fillip to the economy.

“The scheme is a great relief for apple growers. It will provide a comprehensive insurance cover against any obstacle, thus helping in stabilizing the income of the apple farmers. It will also address all issues related to marketing and transportation, in addition, to provide optimum returns to apple growers,” the LG said.

According to an official press release, the LG also observed that the government is committed to take forward the horticulture sector as it will contribute to the betterment of livelihood of apple growers.

“Since 12 LMT of apples can be procured under this scheme, besides ensuring profitability, it will also create rural employment through supplementary services such as packaging, transportation, etc.,” he added.

Under the scheme, apple will be procured by National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) directly from the growers/aggregators at optimum prices at five designated collection centres (Fruit & Vegetable Mandis) in Sopore (Baramulla), Parimpora (Srinagar), Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag.

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