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Posted at: Oct 21, 2019, 6:47 AM; last updated: Oct 21, 2019, 6:47 AM (IST)

NAFED breaks commission agents’ monopoly in apple market

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, October 20

With the introduction of the market integrated scheme (MIS) for promoting apple trade, the growers are gaining profits due to the increased competition in the market.

The government scheme has put the private businessmen, who used to work as brokers between growers and traders in national fruit markets, in tough competition.

“The MIS has provided us an alternative market. We can bargain with the traders now and sell our apples at a better price. The MIS has broken the monopoly of traders,” said a grower Farooq Ahmad of north Kashmir’s Wagoora tehsil in Baramulla district.

The government, had on September 12, launched the MIS under which National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED) would procure and market the apple produce. The scheme is aimed at helping the growers to save their crop from distress sale.

“They [the growers] can now sell the harvest without paying commission to agents,’’ Governor Satya Pal Malik had said then.

The government is procuring A-grade Delicious apple variety at Rs 60 per kg, Rs 44 for B-Grade and Rs 24 for C-Grade with wood grass packing.

“I can sell an apple box of delicious to NAFED at Rs 1200 which is much better than the rate in private fruit mandis (wholesale market),” Ahmad said.

Ahmad is more jubilant about the rates of the C-grade apple which they usually sell in distress sale.

“We are selling C-Grade apple for Rs 18 to 24 per kg which we would usually sell at not more than Rs 10 per kg,” he said.

Nearly 7 lakh families are directly or indirectly associated with Kashmir’s biggest economy – Rs 8,000-crore apple industry.

NAFED has broken the monopoly of apple traders and their commission agents, who would fleece the apple growers in the absence of alternative market options.

“The traders in various mandis will not procure our delicious A-grade apple at Rs 30 to 40 per kg. NAFED is helping us to bargain well with the apple traders and their commission agents,” said Ghulam Hassan, another grower.

Kashmir produces nearly 20 lakh metric tonnes of apple every year from 14,60,16 hectares of land, 95 per cent of which is sent to different parts of India and some varieties are exported to Bangladesh.

‘MIS to our aid’

The MIS has provided us an alternative market. We can bargain with the traders now and sell our apples at a better price. The MIS has broken the monopoly of traders. Farooq Ahmad, apple grower of North Kashmir

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