STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: Chief Secretary, B VR Subrahmanyam on Friday directed Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir to ensure that fruit laden trucks are prioritized for movement on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway after it is opened for traffic. Chairing a video conference, Chief Secretary emphasized on the Divisional and District Administration Kashmir to provide all possible assistance to the fruit growers in procurement and transportation of their Apple produce to outside Mandis. Secretary, Horticulture, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Director Horticulture, Kashmir, Director, JKHPMC and other officers were present in the meeting. Secretary, Horticulture informed that till date, 10.78 Lakh MT of Apple has been dispatched to outside Mandis as against 11.74 Lakh MT during the same period last year. He said 77000 trucks have been used for transportation of the fruit till date. Regarding procurement of Apple under the Special Market Intervention Price Scheme (MISP) of Government of India (GoI), 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. Chief Secretary directed Director Horticulture, Kashmir and Director, JKHPMC to further speed up the payment process and ensure that fruit growers receive their payments as per the fixed timelines. He also called for launching a sustained publicity campaign through Doordarshan, Radio and Print media regarding MISP for the benefit of the farmers willing to sell their Apple produce under the scheme. Chief Secretary directed Secretary, Horticulture to liaise with SKUAST Kashmir for issuing an advisory to the farmers as to how damage to their orchards and fruits could be minimized on account of snowfall/ frost conditions.
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