This apple is definitely sour: NAFED fails to repay farmers who sold them their produce
Shopian: Dozens of apple growers in southern Kashmir are feeling deprived as they are waiting for the payment of their produce they sold under market intervention scheme introduced by National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED) last year.
The growers alleged that they have received just 55 percent payment for the produce they sold to NAFED while as 45 percent of their share is still with the marketing federation.
“We were asked to sell our produce under market intervention scheme to NAFED and were promised that we will get payment in 72 hours as the payments will be directly transferred into our bank accounts. But even though six months have elapsed we are yet to get the second installment of our dues,” they said.
An official of the Horticulture marketing department posted in Anantnag district said that there were at least 3000 growers who sold their product at Fruit Mandi Batengoo and among them around 2900 growers have got their money.
“Around 50 growers have been left out as the details about the quantity of fruit sold with us are not matching with those available with the NAFED authorities,” he added.
He said that NAFED authorities are cross checking it and will release the pending payment once they complete the process.
Growers who are yet to get their money said that if hundreds of growers have sold their produce and they have got the compensation for it, why have we who number around 50 been left out.
They alleged that they have been moving from pillar to post to get our payments, but all in vain.
“The fruit produce we sold is the only source of income we have and this suffices our needs for the entire year. If the NAFED continues withholding our payments we will be ruined,” said Abdul Ahad, a fruit grower.
On contacting an official of the NAFED, who wished not to be named, he said that the marketing federation has forwarded the amount for release according to the details they got.
“The horticulture department has provided us the details and we acted accordingly. If there are some difficulties in releasing the payments the officials should forward us the details and we will check what can be done about it,” he added.
He said that if there is any pending payment still left then the concerned authorities must forward the documents and accordingly we will work on it.
Meanwhile, Secretary Horticulture, Manzoor Ahmad Lone, when contacted said that he will direct Director Horticulture to look into the matter and check where the problem lies.