SRINAGAR, AUGUST 4: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta today stressed on the officers of the Agriculture Production Department to plan well ahead of the fruit season for giving unhindered access to the fruit laden trucks on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.
Dr Mehta was speaking in a meeting called to review the overall implementation of schemes in Horticulture sector in J&K. The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary, APD; Director Horticulture Kashmir/Jammu; MD, Horticulture Planning & Marketing besides other officers of the Department.
Dr Mehta maintained that shortly the horticultural produce is ripening and needs to be moved to mandis outside. He directed the concerned to plan well ahead in coordination with the Traffic authorities so that this perishable crop reaches timely to its markets.
The Chief Secretary also enjoined upon them to assist the farmers in fetching good price for their produce. He also asked for looking into the issue of fixing genuine freight for transportation of the cash crop.
He called on them to follow evidence based decision making for producing the better outcomes. He asked them to strategize for several years and follow it up till set objectives are not met.
The Chief Secretary emphasized on replacing the traditional senile varieties of fruit trees with the new High Density (HD) plant varieties which bears multiple times more crop than the traditional ones. He advised the Department to visit the farmers and demonstrate to them about the benefits of adopting these novel varieties of fruit trees so that farmers readily go for this transformative exercise.
Dr Mehta also asked them to extend the technical advice to the farmers in fetching the right kind of root stock. He told them to produce the same in their nurseries and distribute it among the farmers here. He urged them to bridge the gap between the demand and supply of such stocks by roping in best of the players available internationally.
The Chief Secretary also observed that the Horticulture and Tourism sectors are the mainstay of major portion of our rural and urban population respectively. He stated that both these departments should put their heads together to have a common roadmap to interlink these vital sectors with each other so that one abets other.
While speaking during the meeting, the Principal Secretary, APD, Shailendra Kumar apprised the meeting that around 1.65 lakh hectares of land has been converted into the High Density (HD) plantations in the UT. He mentioned that all of these plantations are new and added to the already established orchards here.
He further added that the government is well on track to convince more and more farmers to adopt these high yielding varieties which produce 5-15 times more crop than the traditional ones.
He gave out that government is also creating awareness among Mandis and exporters to register on e-NAM portal for bringing ease in doing of business besides bringing better returns to farmers with very low chances of any loss or risk.
While listing the achievements for the FY 2022-23 it was said that an area of 2.55 Ha has been brought under different types of orchards under Area Expansion Programme. An area of 93 Ha has been brought under high Density Apple Plantation in this period.
It was further given out that 7410 soil samples and 286 pesticides samples have been analyzed. Similarly 581 number of Borewells/ TubeWells have been established, 246 Vermicomposting Units have been established in the UT.
Moreover assistance for procurement of six Refrigerated Transport Vehicle and establishment of 30088 MT CA Storage Facilities was provided by the Department. In addition 104 Tractors, 965 Tillers, 2800 Motor Power Sprayers, 789 number of brush cutters, 682 number of irrigation pumps besides other machinery has been provided to the fruit growers across the length and breadth of J&K.