New Delhi: The Centre is implementing Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) on the request of states for procurement agriculture and horticulture commodities that are generally perishable and not covered under Price Support Scheme, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said.

The MIS is implemented in order to protect the interests of growers to avoid distress sale in the event of bumper crop when prices tend to fall below the economic levels/cost of production, he informed the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.

He said procurement under MIS may be made by NAFED as the central agency or by agencies designated by states.

Losses incurred by the procuring agencies are shared between Central government and concerned state government on 50:50 basis (75:25 in case of North-Eastern states), he said.

However, the amount of loss to be shared between the Centre and state government is restricted to 25 per cent of the procurement cost. Profit earned by procuring agencies is retained by them, he said.

Pawar assured the states of taking concrete steps to help farmers producing and exporting perishable items like potato.

Maintaining that the Centre is committed to protecting potato growers' interest, Pawar said he was happy to support states that wanted to export the perishable item.

Pawar said the Centre has received a proposal from West Bengal seeking permission to export potato to the South East Asian nations.

"No other states has such a proposal. I am happy to support such a proposal," he added.

(Agencies)