SRINAGAR: Terming horticulture as the backbone of States economy, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti today exuded confidence that the sector has the potential to get the socio economic profile of Jammu & Kashmir change for better. She said the Government is taking a slew of measures to further incentivize this industry and address growers concerns.
Ms Mufti exuded confidence that the sector has the potential to get the socio-economic profile of Jammu & Kashmir change for better.
Mufti, however, said the Government is taking a slew of measures to further incentivize this industry and address growers concerns.
Addressing a gathering of fruit growers and progressive farmers here today after formally launching the High Density Apple Plantation Scheme, the Chief Minister said with a huge market demand and massive scope for potential realization, Horticulture industry has the capacity to change the fortunes of not only the farming community but the entire State with its cascading benefits.
She said it is a matter of satisfaction that horticulture industry sustained the economy of the State, much ahead of other sectors, during the last three decades of difficult times.
Complimenting the growers on the launch of the scheme today, Mehbooba Mufti hoped that they would positively reciprocate the Governments efforts to rejuvenate this sector on scientific lines.
She said with the adoption of these high density plants the economic returns of farmers are sure to shoot up. She said under the scheme 50% subsidy would be provided by the Government to the farmers and mega mandies and CA stores would be set up in the State, at Jablipora in Anantnag and Aglar in Pulwama in first stage, besides establishment of e-markets for the online sale of the produce.
Additionally, she said, the Khadi & Village Industries Board has launched a scheme under which 40 % subsidy would be provided for setting up of cardboard fruit box manufacturing units.
The Chief Minister said already the Government has launched a Market Intervention Scheme to stabilize the rates of apple produce and benefit growers.
She said a network of mandies is being laid to maximize direct interface between growers and buyers.
The Chief Minister asked the J&K Bank authorities to slash down further the interest rates on the credit to be given to farmers under the scheme. She also asked the JK Bank for maximizing the outreach of the scheme by the network of its branches and also use its Khidmat Centres for popularizing the scheme among the farmers.
The Chief Minister directed the Horticulture Department to pace up the setting up of fruit mandies and CA stores as envisioned in the scheme.
She announced that the current year would be observed as the year of Apple to position the fruit industry in the mainstream of the States economic discourse. She also suggested publicizing the scheme more and more among the grower community to address their concerns and persuade them accordingly.
In a significant announcement, Mehbooba Mufti directed slapping of Public Safety Act against the dealers found conclusively involved in adulteration or selling of spurious pesticides and fungicides in the State.
She assured the growers that her Government has flagged their concerns on priority and steps are being taken to address them properly.
Minister for Education, Syed Muhammad Altaf Bukhari in his address impressed upon the growers to come forward and take full benefits of the scheme. He said the scheme, once implemented fully, would revolutionize the horticulture industry in the State. He asked the growers to avail the facilities from the experts of SKUAST and Departmental functionaries to boost their produce.
Vice-Chairman, Horticulture Board, Nizamudin Bhat in his speech stressed on greater synergy between Horticulture Department and the farming community. He sought holding of camps for farmers and students of demonstration plots which have become models and success stories in themselves.
Chairman, JK Bank, Parvez Ahmad in his address assured all support in the successful execution of the scheme. He said a dedicated team of officers would be deployed at the headquarters of the Bank to monitor the successful implementation of the scheme.
It may be recalled the High Density Apple Plantation Scheme was conceived by former Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to give a push to the horticulture industry of the State and after a years hectic ground work the scheme was today formally launched by the Chief Minister.
CM Directs Slapping of PSA Against Dealers Of Spurious Pesticides
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, has directed slapping of Public Safety Act (PSA) against the dealers found conclusively involved in adultery or selling of spurious pesticides and fungicides in the State.
I have directed the concerned officials to impose PSA against the dealers found conclusively involved in adultery or selling of spurious pesticides and fungicides in the State, Ms Mehbooba said while addressing a gathering of fruit growers and progressive farmers here today after formally launching the High Density Apple Plantation Scheme.
Ms Mehbooba assured the growers that the state government has flagged their concerns on priority and steps are being taken to address them properly.
The decision to act tough against the dealers involved in adulterating spurious pesticides and fungicides by the Chief Minister comes in the backdrop of concerns raised by the fruit growers.
They had alleged that their apple production has been decreased by over 50 per cent because of the use of adulterated pesticides they are being sold openly in the market. (UNI)
Hints At Retaining Horticulture Portfolio
While hailing horticulturists of Kashmir Valley at the launch of high density apple plantation, chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti, said the sector merits attention of the government and that late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was keen to develop the sector at par with the international standards.
Pertinently, former revenue minister Syed Basharat Bukhari resigned from the cabinet on Friday after he was given charge of Horticulture department.
Mehbooba, while subtly hinting at retaining the Horticulture portfolio to herself, she said that the horticulture ministry is equally important to her as it was to late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
This is the very important ministry and I am very serious at developing states horticulture sector. I would ask J&K Bank to open more branches in the areas wherein horticulture is witnessing a new boom and also deduct the rate of interest at which loan is accorded to the horticulturalists, she added.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.