No takers for NAFED scheme in Shopian, Pulwama

No takers for NAFED scheme in Shopian, Pulwama

Apple growers in Pulwama, Shopian say no to NAFED

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Pulwama: There is hardly any response from the apple growers of south kashmir’sPulwama and Shopian district to the government offer for procuring the apple boxes through the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED).

Initially, some growers have registered for the NAFED scheme after it was announced on September 11, 2019, but the mere registration has not materialized yet.

To substantiate their claim, the apple growers in these twin district said that NAFED could procure only some thousand boxes in past two week during the apple harvest season.

As per official figures, some 20 thousand metric tons of fruit have been procured under NAFED scheme in last two weeks.

There is no buzz for the first time in the fruit mandis of Arhama- Shopian, Prichoo and Pachhaar in Pulwama, and Kulgam at this time of the year.

While the growers here say the sale was not the challenge, however, plucking, processing, grading, packaging and transportation to the designated places for sale remains a challenge due to the prevailing situation in Kashmir.

The apple growers here believe that the harvest of this cash crop was dragged deliberately to project the normalcy in current uncertainties; however, other agricultural activities have been going on normally.

“Everyone is suffering losses in Kashmir during these days, but the worst hit is apple grower,” said Shabir Ahmad of Pulwama, adding, the growers here have not plucked a single variety of apples in the area, as the fruit Mandis remained shut this season so far. There is complete silence in the entire area.

The prevailing situation in Kashmir post abrogation of Article 370 and 35A by centre on August 5 has put life on halt and the apple growers have also decided not to pluck apple crop in the wake of revocation of special status.

Meanwhile, in these tough times, majority of the fruit growers are clueless about the future strategy in absence of leadership in the prevailing situation in Kashmir.

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