There is little enthusiasm among Kashmir growers for the market intervention scheme (MIS) announced past week by the government. Many say it is ‘too little too late’. The scheme has been rolled out at the end of the season, and it does not entail procurement of the scab-infested and pre-maturely fallen fruit, which unfortunately are a feature of the 2020 crop.
The Union territory administration announced the MIS on 28th of October, the point where apple harvesting had almost concluded in the Valley. The administration plans to procure 1.2 million tons of apples from Kashmir through National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED), a cooperative marketing of agricultural produce for farmers in India. The estimated apple production of the Valley is 1,851,723 tons.
The growers and traders across Kashmir speak of the official claims as 'insincere’.
Bashir Ahmad Bashir, president of the Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers and Dealers Union said: “the scheme has been launched too late. It also does not cover the scab-infected and fallen fruit, a misfortune exacerbated by official apathy amid COVID-19 pandemic this year.”