Centre to buy apples directly from growers in Kashmir
The scheme will operate along the lines of those governing the procurement of these commodities.Updated: Sep 11, 2019 03:58 IST
The Centre will launch a scheme to buy apples from growers in Jammu and Kashmir and make payments directly to their bank accounts, an official said on Tuesday.
Apple procurement operations under the scheme will be handled by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED), a federal agency that also buys other agricultural commodities such as soyabean and pulses.
The scheme will operate along the lines of those governing the procurement of these commodities.
NAFED buys soyabean and pulses at federally determined minimum support prices, mainly to ensure farmers get better prices. In case of Kashmiri apples, a price committee with a member from the National Horticulture Board will fix prices according to the quality of the produce.
The scheme will become operation for the current 2019 apple season and NAFED will complete the entire process through designated state government agencies by December 15 this year.
The Jammu and Kashmir government will ensure direct payment into bank accounts of apple growers through direct benefit transfers.
Apples will be procured through designated mandis in Sopore, Shopian and Srinagar.
A proposed quality committee will ensure proper grading of the varieties of apples and there will be an implementation and coordination committee for the same at the state level to be chaired by the chief secretary.
According to an official, the ministries of agriculture and home affairs will oversee smooth implementation of the scheme.
Kashmir is India’s largest apple grower with an average annual production of nearly 2200 metric tonnes. Apple industry fetches revenue of nearly Rs 1,300 crore, according to a state government website.