Grading, packaging facilities to be provided at Mandis
SRINAGAR: Government today constituted a committee for fixation of the rates of cold storage facility of apple and other fruit besides resolving other issues related to fruit growers, traders and cold storage owners.
The decision was taken at a meeting held between the officers of Horticulture Department and representatives of Cold Atmospheric Units and Fruit Growers and Traders Associations of the Valley under the chairmanship of Minister for Horticulture, Mr. Abdul Rehman Veeri here Monday.
The Committee members include the Director Horticulture, Kashmir, Director H&PM, representatives of Fruit Growers and Traders Associations and representatives of Cold Storage Unit holders are the members of the committee. The committee would threadbare discuss the issues for better storage of the fruit and make suggestions for fixation of rate.
Commissioner Secretary Agriculture Production, Mr. Mohammad Ashraf Bukhari, Director Horticulture, Kashmir, Director HP&M, MD JKHPMC, Deputy Director HP&M, Presidents of fruit Growers and Traders Associations of various districts, representatives of Cold Atmospheric Unit holders besides other senior officers of concerned Departments attended the meeting.
The Minister on the occasion said the government is exploring the possibility of establishing a chain of cold atmospheric stores for the fruit industry across the State. He said there is need to expand the cold storage network and government is focusing on this critical aspect of post harvesting management of fruit especially apple.
We would like to see more and more CA storage projects sanctioned by the Central Government to address the shortfall of such stores for over 257796 MTs of fruit, he said adding that out of the 43 such projects submitted to the Centre, only 9 projects have been sanctioned so far which only caters to 51700 MTs of fruit.
Assuring full support to the private stakeholders, Veeri said those who wish to set up CA stores in different parts of the State shall be supported by the Government in this endeavor.
Horticulture Minister said Government is also mulling setting up of cold storage facilities at Sopore, Parimpora, Jablipora, Kulgam in Kashmir and Narwal Jammu. He said in this regard a proposal for sanction of the funds is under active consideration of the Government.
The Minister asked the CA unit holders to provide storage for fruits to the growers at affordable rates. He said a mass awareness drive would be launched about the benefits of using post harvest storage facilities such as CA stores among the growers.
Veeri said the government should also focus on improving grading and packaging of the horticulture produce necessitated by global standards and to fetch better returns for the fruit growers. He said special emphasis would be given to develop grading and packing units in fruit mandis.
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