Jammu And Kashmir Govt's Bonanza To Farmers, To Procure 12 Lakh Metric Tons Of Apples
The Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR), Jammu and Kashmir, on September 7, Monday, declared that 12 Lakh Metric Tons (MTs) of Apples will be procured from the farmers through special market intervention price scheme.
Apples grown across J&K will be bought directly by the government from the farmers and Kashmiris who sell homegrown apples. The process will be carried out by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED). The process will be completed by December this year, officials said.
The DIPR has ensured direct trade and money transfer through direct benefit transfer. Thereby, eliminating the middlemen from the process.
Kashmir is known for many of its seasonal fruits like Apples, Pears, Saffron(crocus) amongst others. The Apple business mainly prevails in South Kashmir, especially the Shopian district, which is also a hotbed of terror activities. The industry here has therefore taken a hit leading to the alienation of the region. The government has initiated the move to restore the age-long business, showing a silver lining to the people of Shopian.
In the efforts to resume trade, more than 700 truckloads of Apples were transported from Kashmir to different parts of the country last week as the seasonal apples are on their reaping stage. The administration is gradually removing the inter-state trade restrictions with Kashmir which was imposed after the abrogation of Article 370 in August.
The declaration came days after an unknown pamphlet was circulated in Srinagar threatening people not to engage in any business activities. The DIPR has also assured to deliver quality Apples and to compartmentalise the delivery since there are 113 varieties of homegrown Apples.
The harvest season begins from late September to early October depending upon the variety of Apples that are being procured. The apples can only be grown at an altitude of 1500-2700m above sea level under the temperature of around 24 degrees. The Valley is known for producing 75 per cent of apple in the country.