JK to import high density fruit plants to boost horticulture

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Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir government has earmarked Rs 150 crore to develop horticulture sector and will import high density fruit plants and root stockings from Europe to boost fruit production in the state.

“A budgetary provision of Rs 150 crore has been earmarked for development of horticulture sector. High density fruit plants and root stockings will be imported from European countries to boost fruit production,” Horticulture Minister Abdul Rehman Veeri said at a meeting here.

He said horticulture is the mainstay of the states’ economy and government is making all out efforts to boost the fruit production by initiating several innovative measures.

Soil testing laboratories would be setup in each district and scrutiny of pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers would be ensured so that penetration of substandard material is checked, he said.

The minister said the government has already taken several measures to curb the menace of spurious pesticides and fertilizers in the markets.

“Enforcement wing of the Horticulture Department has been strengthened and vested with more powers to control and check the sale and purchase of spurious pesticides, fungicides and fertilisers,” he said and warned that any dealer found selling spurious pesticides and fertilizers would be dealt with stringently.

Veeri said cold storage facility would be provided in the districts.

Measures for upgradation of Fruit Mandis at Sopore, Pulwama and Pampore in the valley and Narwal in Jammu have already been initiated while as development of several fruit and vegetable markets are apace and would be completed within stipulated time, he said.

Responding to the demands of Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers and Dealers Association (KVFGDA), the Minister said the government has approached the Centre for flood relief package adding once funds are released, the same would be provided to the affected fruit growers across the State.

Earlier, the KVFGDA presented a charter of demands including frequent visits by experts to orchards to aware fruit growers about spray schedules and latest farming technologies to increase fruit crop production, introducing horticulture crop insurance, enhancement of KCC loans from three to 10 lakh and establishment of horticulture model villages in each districts.

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