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India: Sales of Kashmir apples picking up pace

About 446,000 tonnes of apples, around 25% of the total produce, have already been transported outside the State The export of Kashmir’s famed apples is finally picking up pace, with growers from the volatile Anantnag area in south Kashmir topping the list of beneficiaries of the government-introduced Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) this year.

According to the figures of the State’s Horticulture Planning and Marketing Department, the MIS centre at Batengo in Anantnag has been able to export 70,178 boxes of apples, followed by the Sopore pick-up centre at 3,721 boxes and Srinagar at 2,510 boxes till October 9.

However, the militancy-dominated district of Shopian witnessed the export of just 2,381 boxes. The MIS was introduced by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) in a rare move to help the farmers in distress due to the lockdown and communication blockade imposed in Kashmir on August 5 after the Centre’s move to revoke J&K’s special status. The scheme has been able to pick up apples worth ₹50 mln so far.

“The MIS was introduced to provide an option to the growers. It was able to make the market competitive. There was no compulsion to sell the fruit under the MIS only. We are expecting more farmers to come forward after the revision of prices,” Horticulture Planning and Marketing Department director G.M. Dar told The Hindu.

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