Focus of Govt to boost horticulture production across State:Bhalla

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’Lays foundation stone of HDOCMH at Muralia’
JAMMU:Minister for Horticulture, Culture, Housing, Youth Services and Sports Raman Bhalla laid the foundation stone of Horticulture Development Officer’s Office-Cum-Mallis hut (HDOCMH) at Government Fruit Plant Nursery at Muralia.
Vice Chancellor SKUAST-J, Prof. Predeep K. Sharma, Secretary Horticulture and Floriculture Sanjeev Verma, Director Horticulture Mr Anil Kumar Sharma, Director Research V.K.Wali besides other senior officer of Horticulture Department, Sarpanchs, Panchs and fruit growers in large numbers were present on the occasion.
After laying foundation stone, the Minister stressed the need to establish the model nursery in the area so that the showcase is created for the fruit growers of Jammu Division to learn and adopt the technology being developed in the nursery. He also linked the development of model nursery with the border tourism so that tourists visiting Jammu will have a chance to see the latest technology of producing quality plant material in the nursery and this will pave a way to market the fruit of mango and citrus for the visiting tourist in the area.
Mr. Bhalla advised the farming community to take the maximum benefits of the various farmer friendly schemes launched by the State and stressed to use the latest Horticulture Technologies for boosting their horticulture production including high remunerative cash crops like vegetables, flowers & fruits.
Laying stress on the research work to evolve hybrid varieties of fruit and vegetables, the Minister said that officers should focus on the varieties which suit to the local conditions for which location specific research be initiated in the interest of farming community.
Mr. Bhalla stated that the Scientists and other officers of the SKUAST-J Universities must speed up the activities and produce quality seeds and evolve techniques which would help the farmers in boosting their production. He asked the farmers to adopt latest techniques for increasing cultivation in a big way and apprised them that the Government has made requisite arrangements for proper marketing of this production. He said that an attractive component of subsidy is available for the Horticulture activities and farmers should take advantage of the schemes.
Vice Chancellor SKUAST-J Mr. Predeep K Sharma while speaking on the occasion emphasised that the production of quality planting material and area specific crop is the demand of the hour and to increase the production and productivity the latest technology is to be adopted by the farmers so that the income of the farmer is enhanced and socio economic status is upgraded.
In his address, Secretary Horticulture and Flouriculture Mr. Sanjeev Verma informed the gathering that a very comprehensive plan under MIDH is being launched in the state wherein more than 200 Ha of the area shall be declared as organic in the state and the horticulture produce from this area shall be certified as organic produce so that the farmers can get remunerative price of their produce. He, further, added a complete integration with SKUAST – J and SKUAST-K has been facilitated so that the innovative technology developed by the university is transferred to the field.
In his welcome address, Director Horticulture Mr Anil Kumar Sharma informed the Minister that an amount of Rs 1.11 crore is being incurred for infrastructure development of 100 kannal of the nurseries including HDOCMH in the Maralian village about 14 kilometer from Jammu city.
He further said that the two blocks one each of high density mango and virus free kinnow has been established which will serve as a source for the bud wood bank. The infrastructure includes establishment of green house with modern facilities for production of high density planting material under protected cultivation for citrus and mango, soil solarisation platform, hardening chambers, insect proof tubular structure. Besides, aforesaid nursery will be strengthened with micro irrigation system to produce the plant material under organic conditions by way of establishing vermi compost units. Nursery shall be highly mechanised for intercultural operation to meet the mandatory production of 50,000 plants per annum.