In a historic move, Jammu and Kashmir government launched, for the first time, air cargo service from Jammu and Srinagar airports to top domestic and international markets for transportation of perishable horticulture and Agriculture produce.

The market linkage support scheme ‘PARVAZ” has been launched by Horticulture Department as part of its endeavors to ensure better dividends of the horticulture & Agriculture produce, which will eventually result in socio-economic emancipation of fruit growers and farmers of J&K by doubling their income.

As per an order, issued by the Government, sanction has been accorded to the implementation of ‘PARVAZ’, a market linkage support scheme, for shipment of agriculture and horticulture perishables being harvested in Jammu and Kashmir to domestic and International destinations through Air Cargo.

The order states that 25% subsidy shall be provided on Air Cargo charges inclusive of Airport handling charges for shipment through one or more empanelled Airlines by the government from time to time and in the DBT mode to the farmers/FPOs/SHGs and registered intermediaries besides subsidy shall be paid in the reimbursement mode as per the original invoices/bills of the concerned Airlines in offline mode only till 31.08.2021. Thereafter, the support shall be paid through online medium in DBT mode by creating a platform between Directorate of Horticulture, Jammu and Kashmir besides the concerned Airlines.

The order further stated that the scheme could also be adopted by Animal, Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries Departments for milk based perishables and trout fish subject to availability of funds.

Meanwhile, J&K government also notified rates for shipping out Horticulture and Agriculture perishables harvested in the UT through M/s Go Airlines India Limited (Go First) to various domestic and international destinations.

According to a notification issued here by the Horticulture Department in this regard, these rates have been notified in pursuance to the outcome of tendering process followed by signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between M/s Go Airlines India Limited (Go First) and Horticulture Department.

The notification stated that Rs 128 per Kilogram have been fixed for shipment of the said products from Srinagar/Jammu to Dubai, Rs 128 per Kilogram for Srinagar/Jammu to Sharjah, Rs 29 per Kilogram from Srinagar/Jammu to Delhi, Rs 54 per Kilogram from Srinagar/Jammu to Chennai, Rs 52 per kilogram from Srinagar/Jammu to Kolkatta, Rs 39 per kilogram from Srinagar/Jammu to Mumbai/Pune and Rs 55 per Kilogram have been fixed for shipment of UT’s perishable agriculture and horticulture products from Srinagar/Jammu to Bangaluru. These rates are inclusive of all taxes and Airport handling charges.

The organic/exotic vegetables eligible under the ‘PARVAZ’ Scheme would be identified by an Expert Committee to be notified separately.

“However, with 25% subsidy under Parvaz in place, the effective per kg air cargo charges for cherry, litchi, strawberry, pear, peach and plum from Jammu and Srinagar airports to Dubai and Sharjah will be only Rs 96 while it will be 21.75 for Dehli, Rs 29.25 for Mumbai, 39 for kolkatta, 40.5 for Chenai and 41.25 for Bengluru. This will revolutionize the marketing of fruits and vegetables of Jammu and Kashmir”, maintained an official spokesperson.

“There has been a paradigm shift in the policy eco system in horticulture and agriculture department during the last one year. The focus has been massively broadened from pre-harvest management to integrated post harvest management for bringing the unique products of agriculture and horticulture in top domestic and international markets, stated Principal Secretary, Agriculture Production and Farmers’ Welfare, Navin Kumar Choudhary while elaborating on broad contours of Parvaz scheme.

He said that new schemes have been launched to empower the farmers of J&K and make them market leader.

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