JK’s Horticulture Sector Can Dominate World Market: Rather

Anantnag - Maintaining that state’s horticulture has a tremendous potential to dominate the world market, the government today called for familiarizing post-harvest technology in a big way in the state besides exploring new marketing channels to ensure maximums fruits exports.

Speaking at the 2-days Agro-Industrial Exhibition-cum-Awareness Camp held at Government Degree College, Anantnag today, minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs, Abdul Rahim Rather Rather, who is also chairman of the District Development Board, Anantnag, said post harvest management was primarily necessary to keep pace with the stiff competition in the world market as it increases the shelf-life of fresh fruits and vegetables adding that flavor of Kashmiri apple is unparallel world over.

He also urged the need to set up Compressed Air (CA), stores in all the horticulture producing belts of the state.

Member Parliament, Dr. Mehboob Beig, Legislators, . Rafi Ahmed Mir, Peerzada Mansoor Hussain, Dr. Bashir Ahmed Veeri, . Nizam-ud-Din Khatana, District Development Commissioner, Anantnag, Farooq Ahmed Shah, former Commissioner Secretary, G. A. Peer, a large number of progressive farmers, prominent citizens and officers of the district administration were present on the occasion.

Rather said that owing to great importance of agriculture in the state’s economic scenario, almost entire agriculture sector has been made tax free by exempting VAT on fertilizers, fungicides, pesticides and other agriculture inputs. He said determined efforts are being made to exploit maximum potential in the agriculture sector and asked the youth to venture in agro-based industries for which SKEWPY, first of its kind in the country, provides them all the logical support.

He called for bringing reforms in the state’s Planning System adding that faulty planning has always proved counterproductive. He said corruption was the main obstacle in the way of socio-economic development adding that society as whole shall have to take a pledge to root out this ugly menace, which is eating vitals of the society.

He said that holding of agro-exhibitions will help to give inspirations to the farmers and educated youth through live demonstrations to take up agro-based industries in a big way.
Earlier, the Minister inspected various stalls set up by the entrepreneurs and various departments and interacted with them.

Farooq Shah in his welcome address gave an overview about the major ongoing projects in the district and said that the current year’s District Credit Plan is of the order of Rs. 490 crore whereas annual plan is Rs. 107 crore. He said 100% funds have been released to various departments. He said a programme to beautify Anantnag town has been undertaken at a cost of Rs. 52 lakhs adding that famous Mughal Garden -Sher Bagh has also been renovated with the financial support of M.P, . Mehboob Baig. He said an ambitious Rs. 46 crore Water Supply Scheme (WSS) has been taken up to augment drinking water facilities in the Anantnag town.

Later, the Minister inspected upcoming 300 bedded district hospital building and took stock of the pace of work. . Farooq Shah informed the Minister that first phase of the hospital building comprising 120 beds and three operations theaters will be commissioned by the ending of November this year. The Minister also visited various wards in the old District Hospital and enquired about the facilities available to the patients. (Observer Reporter)

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