The government has decided to constitute State Pesticides Regularity Authority to curb the use of spurious pesticides, which causes immense harm to the fruit production and its quality in the State.
The decision in this regard was taken at a high level meeting of Horticulture and allied Departments held under the chairmanship of Minister for Horticulture, Mr. Abdul Rehman Veeri here today.
Commissioner Secretary Agriculture Production, Dr. Asgar Samoon, Vice Chancellors SKAUST, Kashmir and Jammu, Director Horticulture, Kashmir and Jammu, Director Horticulture Planning and Marketing, Director Agriculture Kashmir, Director Research SKAUST Kashmir and Jammu were present in the meeting
Sharing his concern about alleged sale of spurious pesticides, the Minister said that Government shall enact stringent laws to check this menace to safeguard horticulture industry from further damage. He directed both the Agriculture Universities of the State to prescribe scientifically proven standard pesticides and fungicides to the fruit growers and farmers well in advance of the spray season so that they are not fleeced by the unscrupulous pesticide traders.
“Horticulture is the mainstay of the state’s economy and all efforts should be made to promote this vital sector”, he instructed the officers and said that in the era of competition in the market, quality control is must and we have to focus on this vital area to maintain the credibility of State’s horticulture produce.
The Minister said that horticulture industry has given sustenance to the people of the state in most difficult times and nobody will be allowed to destroy this vital sector of the state’s economy. He said promotion of Horticulture sector has been flagged as priority sector by the present government adding that several measures are being taken to promote this sector on modern lines.
The Minister said soil testing and pesticide testing laboratories would be set up in each district so that production and productivity is increased manifold on scientific basis. He directed the concerned authorities to complete all requisite formalities in this regard so that these laboratories would be set up in time.
Mr Veeri said Government proposes to construct one cold storage in each fruit mandi of the State so that fresh fruit of the State is exported in its original flavor to other terminal markets of the country.
The Minister said that effective measures will be taken to promote high density plantations and phase out old plantations which have completed their economic life. He said re-plantations will be done with new apple varieties on suitable rootstocks by introducing improved apple varieties that are regular and productive, resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses and also useful for processing purposes.
The Minister called for close coordination between Horticulture Department and SKAUST so that maximum farmers are benefited. He also directed for judicious use of funds available under the horticulture sector.
He said various centrally sponsored schemes are meant for armers with an aim to improve their living standard.
The Minister said that attention was required to be focused both on the production of quality horticulture produce and its proper export to the terminal markets ensuring substantial returns to the fruit growers. He said while fruit markets in State need to be upgraded, the adequate nsport facilities and regulation of exports to outside markets also requires priority attention.