Too late for introducing MIS scheme, say apple growers
Pulwama: Apple growers from different areas of south Kashmir have questioned the government’s move of introducing the Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) for the apple crop.
The growers say that most of the produce has already been sold in different markets or stored in cold chains.
“This year the apple produce in most of the areas was hit by various diseases due to poor rainfall and covid restrictions that prevented growers to attend to theiur crop,” said Mushtaq Ahmad, a grower from Pulwama.
“The crop was less by 50 percent this year and most of it was hit by scabs and hailstorm,” he added.
Accompanying Mushtaq, another grower, Mohammad Yusuf said that if the government was really willing to provide any relief through MIS scheme, then they should have introduced it at the beginning of the harvesting season.
“Around 80 percent of the produce has been sold. The remaining harvest is lying in our sheds for packaging and introducing this scheme at this stage shows that the scheme was meant to be put on papers alone,” he complained.
“Last year our produce was purchased under this scheme and farmers got a good profit. However, this year it is just an eyewash as the scheme cannot help the apple industry at this late stage,” he added.
Shakeel Ahmad another grower from Kulgam said that government should have introduced this scheme in the beginning of the season so as to help the economically distressed fruit industry.
“Earlier we were demanding to introduce this scheme but then no heed was given to our request. Now announcing it so late will mean no gain for the small growers who have already sold their produce,” he added.
Pertinently, Kashmir has produced about 15 lakh metric tonnes of apples this year which was around 35 percent less compared to last year’s produce.
Market experts believe that the revenue generated though the apple trade has meant loses for the traders as well as the growers.