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Horticulture deptt fails to procure 'C' grade apple from hailstorm hit areas
9/23/2017 11:00:33 PM
Saahil Suhail
Early Times Report

Anantnag, Sept 23: Horticulture Minister has again disappointed the farmer community in Kashmir as he has failed to manage a cabinet nod for procurement of 'C' grade apple from hailstorm affected areas.
Highly placed sources told Early Times that Horticulture Planning and Marketing department had forwarded a proposal regarding the procurement of 'C' grade apple from farmers under Market Intervention Scheme to the Minister a month ago. But orders for the same are awaited as the Minister has failed to bring the issue into the notice of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
Sources said that horticulture production this year has also suffered heavy damages due to untimely hailstorm particularly in south Kashmir and production of 'C' grade fruit has distressed the farmers.
"We are selling 'C' grade fruit at much lowest rates to private agencies as the department concerned hasn't started procuring it despite we brining the issue into the notice of local MLA and authorities." Shamim Ahmad, a resident of Khiram village of Bijbehara-Anantnag said.
Horticulture Department officials in Anantnag said that they have submitted their assessment report to the department concerned. "Khiram has suffered more than 50% percent damage due to hailstorm. Other areas of the district too suffered heavy damages," they added.
Various representations were made to the minister but all in vain, farmers said.
Director Horticulture Planning and Marketing Department, Manzoor Ahmad Qadri confirmed to Early Times that he has forwarded the proposal to the government. He, however, refused to reveal the exact date.
"You need not to go deep into it. We have submitted a proposal regarding procurement of 'C' grade fruit, and hopefully in next week government is likely going to take the final call on it," he said.
In 2015, state government had rolled out Market Intervention Scheme for procurement of lowest quality of fruit and to ensure the exportation of high quality fruit in the market.
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