Govt deal no lifesaver for Kashmir apple-growers, could leave them poorer -Azaan Javaid
Centre's procurement deal through NAFED offers Kashmir apple farmers a lower rate than last year, while also changing the definitions of different categories
Srinagar: The Centre’s decision to procure Kashmir’s apple produce to prevent distress sales amid tensions in the Valley will put farmers at a disadvantage over conventional sales, ThePrint has learnt.
With militants reportedly threatening traders against conducting business, and a public curfew in place against the decision to abrogate Article 370, tonnes of Kashmir’s famed apples, worth thousands of crores, faced the prospect of rotting or distress sale.
To guard against this, the Jammu and Kashmir administration, currently under Governor Satya Pal Malik, launched a market intervention scheme this week under which the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) will procure the apple harvest.
However, J&K administration sources said a kilogram of apples had been priced at Rs 52-54 (the higher price is for wooden-box packaging) under the NAFED deal, compared to Rs 60 last year.
The horticulture department’s request for a price of Rs 70 per kg, which factored in a 5 per cent yearly increase, inflation and other market changes, was rejected, the sources added.
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