Kashmir Fruit Growers Cum Dealers Union (KFGDU), an umbrella body of all fruit associations of the Valley, Tuesday demanded the implementation of Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) from 15-August every year so that they could avail the benefits of the said scheme during the time of Natural Disaster.
In an official statement, KFGDU said that though MIS was introduced in the year 2006 by the Government but was later disbanded.
"However, it was reintroduced during the year 2016-17 but was again disbanded thereafter. In fact crop of early variety of fresh fruits particularly Apple crop arrives in Mandi’s from the month of July-August every year, the implementation of Market Intervention Scheme, in view of Natural Disaster, should therefore, be re-introduced from 15-August every year so that Valley Based Fruit Growers/ Dealers could avail the benefits of the said Scheme during the time of Natural Disaster," the statement reads.
The growers said about 2.1 to 2.2 mln tons of apples are produced annually in Kashmir and about 25% of the total produce turns the shape of “C’ Grade. However, during the present fruit season 50% of the total crop is “C” grade. “The fruit growers and dealers are, therefore, extremely worried with apprehensions of heavy losses.”
In fact curfew like restrictions and lockdown imposed by the Government since March 2020 in entire Valley due to outbreak of COVID-19, the fruit growers, dealers of the Valley could not move out and spray pesticides, insecticides, and fungicides and fertilize in their fruit orchards delegating 50% of the total apple produce into the shape of ‘C’ grade.