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news details
Kashmir's apples get 'support', Jammu's Basmati growers left in lurch
9/22/2019 11:28:35 PM

Early Times Report

JAMMU, Sept 22: Though state government has provided a big relief to the apple growers of Kashmir Valley by fixing the minimum support price of apples crop but no such provision was extended to the traditional Basmati rice growers of Jammu's RS Pura area.
Despite being world famous for their Basmati produce, which is rich in aroma and taste, the rice growers of Jammu are not getting any backing from the state as well as central government.
The basmati rice growers are incurring losses for the last five years yet they still are subjected to discrimination and official apathy, said sources adding that due to which the farmers are getting frustrated as they are not receiving fair price for their produce.
"In fact, the government is buying apples through National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED), an apex organization of marketing cooperatives for agricultural produce in India, under Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India amidst the situation that has arisen in Kashmir since the reorganization of the state," sources said.
"But the administration is ignoring the losses of Basmati growers of Jammu and did not adopt the same mechanism in their case despite of the fact that the rice growers here are under heavy stress and strain," they added.
It is in place to mention here that the Basmati rice of RS Pura has won millions of hearts for its scent and aroma on national and international arena. Despite this, the successive governments have always given preference to Kashmiri apple which are being sold at exorbitant prices. At the same time, the traditional Basmati paddy in RS Pura belt is barely sold for Rs 3 to 3.5 thousand per quintal.
Ironically, that Basmati rice of RS Pura is usually served at VIP events and functions due to its fine quality but no one is ready to extend a helping hand to its producers as apart from the state governments, the successive central governments have never fixed a minimum support price for basmati growing farmers, nor have they given any bonus so as to encourage them.
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