Jammu & Kashmir

Kashmir fruit growers urge Modi for market intervention, crop insurance schemes

A man and a woman spray chemical fertilisers on apple trees in an orchard in South Kashmir. [FPK Photo/Qayoom Khan].

Srinagar: Welcoming Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on his visit to Kashmir, the valley’s fruit growers on Wednesday urged him to consider implementing the market intervention and crop insurance schemes.

Bashir Ahmad Basheer, chairman of the Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Cum Dealers Union, said they warmly welcome Modi to Srinagar and hope that steps will be taken for the welfare of the horticulture sector.

The fruit growers’ union in an open letter to Modi demanded subsidies on insecticides, pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers, as well as the availability of high-density plant material.

“The Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Cum Dealers Union, which serves as an umbrella body for all Fruit Growers Associations of the Valley, warmly welcomes your visit to the Kashmir Valley on 07-03-2024, with expectations that you will take all necessary measures for the promotion of the Horticulture Industry in J&K (UT),” reads the letter.

The pressing issues for consideration in the interest of the Horticulture Sector of J&K (UT) include the introduction of a Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) for “Grade C” Apple and Fallen/Ghiran, and the implementation of the Crop Insurance Scheme.

Basheer said there is a large proportion of C-grade apples, which makes it difficult for growers to sell them. So, there is a need for the Market Intervention Scheme(MIS), he said.

“The Market Intervention Scheme by the government of India played an important role in procuring inferior quality C-grade apples in the valley since 2017 when the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) first launched the scheme,” he said, adding that there is a dire need for the implementation of a crop insurance scheme due to annual crop damage caused by hailstorms and other adverse weather conditions.

The growers’ and dealers’ union also highlighted the burden of an 18% GST on insecticides, pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers and cardboard materials, saying this raises the production cost of fresh fruits. They requested a reduction in the GST rate on these items to alleviate the financial strain on the horticulture industry.

They also called for the treatment of Tree Spray Oil as an agricultural product, consideration for the establishment of a separate Horticulture Estate similar to Industrial Estates in J&K (UT), and the provision of funds in the Central/State Budget Estimates for the establishment of CA/cold stores, canning factories, juice plants and other allied facilities for the benefit of valley-based fruit growers and dealers.

The union also sought subsidies on insecticides, pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers, cardboard cartons, plastic trays, baskets, waste papers and the availability of high-density plant material for the rejuvenation of fruit orchards.


(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by FPK staff and is published from a syndicated feed from KNO)

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