Govt approves setting up of 2 Centers of Excellence in horticulture sector

Netherlands to provide technical know-how for the pupose

SRINAGAR: Minister for Horticulture, Hajj and Auqaf, Mr Abdul Rehman Veeri today directed the Horticulture Department to go ahead with the establishment of two Centers of Excellence in two capital cities of the State. He said these elite Centers would come up at a cost of Rs 20 crore.

“The move is aimed at acquainting the farmers and fruit growers about latest technical know-how of horticulture cultivation for better and quality produce in the State,” the Minister added.

The direction in this regard was given by the Minister in a meeting held with the officers of Horticulture Department and representative of Netherlands here today.

The meeting was convened to discuss the DPR formulated in consultation with Dutch experts for setting up two centers of excellence in the State.

Commissioner Secretary Agriculture Production, Director Horticulture, Kashmir and Jammu, Director Planning Agriculture Production besides Senior Horticulture Expert Netherlands, Mr. Antoon Andela participated in the meeting

The State has sought the expertise of Netherlands for establishment of Centers of Excellence under Horticulture sector and the DPRs in this regard have been formulated by the government with the consultation of Dutch experts.

The senior horticulture expert of Netherlands gave a presentation about the pros and cons of the DPRs and opined that J&K has tremendous horticulture potential, needs to be explored fully on scientific basis to increase the quality fruit produce.

The Minister asked the Department to focus on use of best practices and latest technologies in improving quality and yield of fruits. He said establishment of two Centers of Excellence in Horticulture sector under Indo-Dutch Action Plan will sensitize the fruit growers about high-quality plants, micro-irrigation, high-tech greenhouse technology, tissue culture and weather forecasting.

Stressing on the need to sensitize the farmers about benefits of latest technology, the Minister called for undertaking regular awareness campaigns in all fruit-growing districts to make the farmers cognizant about the new practices and ways to improve quality and production.       

The Horticulture Minister said that government’s endeavor is to give fresh imputes to the horticulture sector in the State and has taken some innovative measures to be implemented gradually. He said two courses in Horticulture sector through Government-owned ITIs will be introduced soon to cater to the manpower requirement.

Veeri said government would also establish Model villages for apple, mango, kin now and apricot fruits in Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh Divisions respectively.  

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