Himachal seeks central incentives for apple growers

Himachal seeks central incentives for apple growers

New Delhi: Himachal Pradesh govt today requested the union agriculture ministry to sanction various incentives to apple growers of the Himalayan states.  The demand was made by high level delegation headed by  horticulture minister Narinder Bragta who called on union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar here today.

Jammu and Kashmir horticulture minister Shyam lal Sharma, Members of parliament Anurag Singh Thakur, Virender Kashyap and Vimla Kashyap accompanied the minister in the delegations. Horticulture minister Narinder Bragta demanded that hail storms should be declared as natural calamity and the loss suffered by the  fruit growers due to hail storm should be  compensated under the central scheme. He told that state has suffered loss of Rs 900 crore due to hailstorm during last three years and told that although  central govt has identified hail storm as one of the natural calmities under the water and climate related disaster but has not treated it as a    as natural calamity for determing the loss of crop so as the farmers are able to get due and proper compensations for the losses of crops due to hail storms  and demanded that loss occured due to hailstorm should  also be  fully compensated. He asked the central govt to provide central assistance under HMNEH  for installation of anti hail gun system in fruit growing areas of the state and told that at present the state has installed the facility at three places which has shown positive results .

Horticulture minister Narinder Bragta  requested the central govt to adopt multi pronged strategy to protect the production and marketing of apples and demanded the enhancement of import duty on apples from china and other countries who  have  created an intense competition by  dumping  its apples at major  ports, including Kolkata and Mumbai as a result of which  the domestic apple production is  receiving a severe beating in Indian market and is not  able to withstand due  to bulk imports .

Horticulture minister Narinder Bragta demanded that all the apple produce should be brought under market intervention scheme and told  that at present central govt shares the burden of only 25% procured fruits on 50:50 basis for Himachal Pradesh while the sharing formula of 75:25 basis is implemented in case of north east states. He requested the cost shring ratio for the Himachal Pradesh on the pattern of north eastern state and added that the central govt is providing assistance under  horticulture mission for north east and Himalayan states  (HMNEH) to Himachal Pradesh at the pattern of north eastern states and the same formula should be adopted for market intervention scheme. He requested the union agriculture ministry to relax the market intervention scheme guidelines where in the MIS is applicable only in situation when there is increase of at least 10% in the production  over the previous year’s normal production or if there is reduction in the market prices by at least 10% over the rates of previous normal season and pleaded for removing such conditions on the plea that fruit production is subject to fluctuation due to various climatic conditions and market prices depend on force of demand and supply. He asked for amendments in M I S policy as the state govt does not get any reimbursement from central govt in lean season which defeats the basic purpose of the scheme

                         Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar assured the delegation that central govt will provide all assistance to apple producing states to safe guard the interest  of apple growers in the country.

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