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Implement market intervention scheme to help snow affected orchardists: Yawar Mir

Srinagar, Nov 8: Expressing deep disappointment over the losses suffered by the horticulture sector in Kashmir due to untimely snowfall this year, PDP spokesman and MLA Rafiabad Yawar Dilawar Mir has urged the governor administration to implement the Market Intervention (MI) Scheme that has been suspended for unknown reasons.

Astonished over the suspension of the MIS Scheme, Mir has said that it seems the Governor has not been briefed by his administration about the contours of this farmer friendly scheme.

“While the promises of compensation by the Governor led administration for orchardists is appreciable, the proposed relief amount should be doubled from Rs 10 to Rs 20 per kilogram of apple that has been hit by the snowfall,” he demanded.

The MLA Rafiabad observed that the central and the state governments must take into consideration the quality of apple produce that has been loss due to the recent snowfall while formulating a compensation package for the orchardists.

“Procurement under MIS which was earlier Rs 10 per kg should now be enhanced to Rs 20 per KG as the quality of the fruit affected by the snow is A-Grade.  Needless to say, that MIS scheme has an already earmarked budgetary allocation available for these situations.”

The PDP spokesman said, “It is not a favour to the orchardists that they will receive compensation against the damages caused to their apple produce. But the compensation should commensurate with the quality of the apple produce lost due to the snowfall.”

Hesaid the MI Scheme was mainly launched with a separate budgetary provision in the state just to help the orchardists and farmers whose crops and fruit produce are hit with any crisis or a natural calamity.

“This scheme was further aimed to empower the orchardists of Kashmir to withstand stiff market competition in the liberal trade regime in the country.”

Mir said that one fails to understand that why the Horticulture Planning and Marketing department has suspended the MI Scheme which was implemented here for the last more than one decade to provide minimum support price to the fruit growers in Kashmir.

He said while it is appreciable that the State’s chief secretary has urged the government of India for assessment of damages to agriculture and horticulture sectors this time, the Governor administration, however, must use its own resources by implementing MI Scheme to compensate the snow affected orchardists.