Govt constitutes Task Force to workout modalities for importing high density fruit plants, rootstocks

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Veeri seeks perspective plan for rejuvenation of senile orchards

SRINAGAR: The State Government has constituted a Task Force to finalize the modalities for importing high density fruit plants and rootstocks from Europe. The imported rootstocks are to be introduced in the J&K to boost fruit crop production.

The decision in this regard was taken at a high level meeting held under the chairmanship of Minister for Horticulture Mr Abdul Rehman Veeri here today.

Commissioner Secretary Agriculture Production Mohammad Ashraf Bukhari, Vice Chancellor SKUAST Kashmir, Director Horticulture (P&M), Directors Horticulture Kashmir and Jammu, Director Finance Agriculture, Director Sericulture, Director CITH, Director NHB, Chief Horticulture Officers of all districts besides other concerned officers attended the meeting. 

Vice Chancellor SKUAST, Kashmir has been nominated as chairman of the Committee, while as Director Horticulture (P&M), Directors Horticulture Kashmir and Jammu province, Director CITH, Director NHB, Director Sericulture, Director Finance (APD) and Deputy Director Horticulture Kashmir were nominated as members.

The Committee would finalize the strategy for importing high density fruit plants and rootstocks. The task force will meet quarterly and submit its report to the government on regular basis for further action.

The Committee shall work on policy formulation regarding identification of high density plants and rootstocks, its source and quantity to be imported. The task force shall also review the potential of government nurseries to handle such high density fruit plants and rootstocks.

 It is pertinent to mention here that government has already kept a budgetary provision of Rs 150 crore for introducing high density fruit plants in the state.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister asked the task force to submit report before end of this month so that necessary steps are taken for importing the superior plants. He also asked the Committee to formulate a perspective plan and identify the extent of senile orchard area in the state that needs rejuvenation.

 Mr. Veeri said that SKUAST and CITH have an important role in this endeavor of the Government for which he urged them to maintain close coordination.

The Minister asked the Chief Horticulture Officers to identify compact area of 1 to 5 hectares of horticulture land in every zone for introducing the high density fruit plants in the first phase. He also instructed for organizing awareness camps for progressive farmers highlighting the latest trends in horticulture cultivation and also stressed for upgradation of departmental nurseries for growth of quality fruit plants.

The Minister also directed for formulation of field task force at district level to monitor the growth of high density fruit plants at the identified horticulture land in every district. He said government will also organize crash course for horticulture field functionaries and introduce them to various latest farming techniques.

Mr. Veeri asked for maintaining high density rootstocks in government nurseries and establishing mother blocks in PPP mode to cater to the local requirements.

The meeting decided that SKUAST Kashmir would lay 3 high density demonstration plots in Pulwama, Shopian and Kupwara, while as CITH would establish such demonstration plots in Baramulla and Anantnag districts and SKUAST Jammu would lay such type of high density demonstration plots in Poonch and Doda districts. The main aim for setting up of these demonstration plots is to inform the growers about the benefits of planting high density fruit plants.

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