Kashmir: Nearly 10.78 lakh metric tonnes of fresh apples have been transported out of Kashmir valley to date this season, a senior official said on Friday. “Till date, 10.78 lakh MT of apples have been dispatched to outside mandis as against 11.74 lakh MT during the same period last year,” Horticulture Secretary Manzoor Ahmad Lone said.
He said 77,000 trucks have been used for transportation of the fruit. Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam, who chaired a meeting on Friday, directed the Kashmir Divisional Commissioner to ensure that the fruit-laden trucks are prioritized for movement on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway after it is opened for traffic. Regarding the procurement of apple under the Central Special Market Intervention Price Scheme (MISP), the chief secretary was informed that till date 4.85 lakh fruit boxes valuing Rs 32 crore have been procured and payment to the tune of Rs 26 crore has been made to the fruit growers. Subrahmanyam directed officials to further speed up the payment process. He also called for launching a sustained publicity campaign through Doordarshan, radio and print media regarding MISP for the benefit of the farmers.