Apple Packing
File Pic | Courtesy: Kashmir Observer

SRINAGAR — In a major relief to apple growers of J&K, 50 per cent of transport from cold chains or orchards to markets and storage in cold chains would be borne by the Government.

Director Horticulture Kashmir, Aijaz Ahmad Bhat said that Prime Minister has waived off all the early riders of the scheme for extending greater benefit to the farmers.

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“This is historical and beneficial order for apple growers, no binding in quantity, distance and rate now. All growers qualify for storage and transport subsidy at the rate of 50 per cent,” he said.

He added, “Now under Nirbhar, now no restriction, no bar makes every farmer/grower eligible to claim for transport & storage subsidy in cold stores. This policy by GoI is only for Apple & for J&K. Horticulture/NAFED is designated as Nodal agency for its implementation.”

Director Horticulture said that it was a long-pending demand of the growers and would go a long way in fetching them better returns of their produce.

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The Horticulture Director has issued guidelines to district officers for registration of the orchardists in their respective areas.

Meanwhile, Director Horticulture today convened a meeting which was also attended by S. K. Singh, Additional Managing Director-NAFED, New Delhi.

The meeting was attended by CA Store Owners Association, Members of Fruit Growers Association, Fruit Growers and the officers of Horticulture Department.

During the meeting, Director Horticulture gave a brief resume of Horticulture sector in Kashmir Division with regards to pre and post-harvest interventions taken by the Department.

Director Horticulture thanked Prime Minister and UT government for making modification in guidelines of the Atma Nirbhar Scheme II for incorporating maximum fruit growers to receive the subsidy benefit for transportation and storage of the Apple fruit.

The AMD NAFED, S.K. Singh gave the introduction of operation “Top to Total” for its implementation in J&K through NAFED, which is being implemented under Atma Nirbhar Scheme II.

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There was a threadbare discussion on the implementation of the scheme, right from its registration process to the disbursement of subsidy transfer in the direct accounts of the farmers/growers on transportation of fruits and its storage.

President JKPECA, President Fruit Association and other officers took an active part during the discussion on its implementation.

Department of Horticulture Kashmir and National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India shall be the Nodal agency of the Scheme for its implementation. Besides, farmers can register on the official website portal (hortikashmir.gov.in).

In the second session, Director Horticulture took review of the schemes implemented by the Department of Horticulture like MIDH, PMDP and CAPEX.

It was impressed upon all officers to speed up the implementation of the schemes, so that the funds released are utilized in full without any fail.

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