Srinagar- Jammu and Kashmir administration on Tuesday launched airlifting service for highly perishable horticulture produce like cherry from the union territory to terminal markets like Delhi and Mumbai.
Principal Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare and Horticulture departments, Navin Kumar Choudhary flagged off the vans carrying cherry produce of various sellers of Kashmir valley which will be subsequently airlifted to Delhi and Mumbai from Srinagar airport, an official spokesman said here.
Speaking on the occasion, Choudhary said it is a historic event for the horticulture sector of Jammu and Kashmir and is a path breaking start for the marketing of perishable fruits and organic vegetables of the union territory.
"Today almost five tonnes of perishable fruit produce will be airlifted to different cities like Mumbai and Delhi which will reach these destinations within hours," he said.
Choudhary said this will empower the fruit growers of Jammu and Kashmir and will increase their income as well as boost the rural economy.
He said it will also address the transportation hiccups for the horticulture produce especially the highly perishable items like cherry, plum and apricots.
Speaking on the occasion, Director Horticulture Aijaz Ahmad Bhat said under this scheme, the department will facilitate all the prospective sellers of perishable fruit produce and will provide them suitable platform for selling their produce.
He said the sellers can contact their district horticulture offices and avail the benefits of this unique scheme.
The Jammu and Kashmir Horticulture Department had recently signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with airline carrier GoAir for transportation of perishable horticulture and agricultural produce to various destinations across the country.
Under this MoU, the airline will charge Rs 24, Rs 34, Rs 47, Rs 48 and Rs 50 for transportation of perishable fruit produce from Jammu and Srinagar to Delhi, Mumbai/Pune, Chennai, Kolkata and Bengaluru respectively.
Meanwhile, Choudhary also inaugurated Advanced Centre for Horticulture Development at Rajbagh here.
He said that this Centre is the backbone of Horticulture Department where the high yielding, precious and valuable exotic plant material and root-stocks imported from foreign countries are being propagated on the modern scientific lines for economic upliftment of the farmers and fruit producers of Jammu and Kashmir to boost their economy.
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