Governor Satya Pal Malik launched the ‘Market Intervention Scheme for Apples of J&K’ with the objective of providing optimum prices to the growers. This Scheme has been approved by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India, under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs, for the current apple harvesting season.This Scheme will be implemented in J&K by the Directorate of Planning and Marketing, supported by the Directorate of Horticulture (Kashmir) and Jammu and Kashmir Horticultural Produce, Marketing and Processing Corporation Ltd.Sh. Vijay Kumar, Sh. K.K. Sharma and Sh. Farooq Khan, Advisors to Governor; Sh. B.V.R. Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Sh. Baseer Khan, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir; Sh. S.K. Singh, Additional M.D. National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED) were present on the occasion.Highlighting the vital importance of Horticulture Sector in Jammu and Kashmir’s economy, Governor observed that with a turn over of Rs. 8000 crore per year in this sector and close to 7 lakh families directly and indirectly associated with it, this Sector needs focused attention on providing every possible support to the growers right from their orchards to the market.
Governor noted that with the launch of this scheme many of the issues relating to the grading of apples, procurement, storage and marketing will be taken care of by the Government. He said that the NAFED will procure and market the apple produce and the apple growers will be getting many times more remuneration for various Grades of apple.Governor expressed that this Scheme will help the growers to save their crop from distress sale.He also stressed the need for the farming community to become aware of their rights and strengthen themselves so as not to get exploited by the market forces which are causing farmers to suffer losses.Governor expressed gratitude to the Union Home Minister for swiftly getting done the whole exercise to launch this initiative in support of farmers of Jammu and Kashmir with in two weeks’s time and sought every stakeholders cooperation in making it a success.Sh. Farooq Khan described it as a momentous occasion for the apple growers where by they have been assured for a Minimum Support Price for their crop. He described it as a significant initiative to save the growers from the market exploitation and distress sale. He said that this step will also help in making apple from Kashmir a ‘Brand’ thus adding to its value manifold.