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High density root stockings to be imported from Europe: Veeri

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‘Rs 150 cr earmarked for horticulture development; Measures being taken to check sale of spurious pesticides, fertilizers’

SRINAGAR, MAY 6: Minister for Horticulture, Mr. Abdul Rehman Veeri has said the government has earmarked a budgetary provision of Rs 150 crore for development of horticulture sector in the State. He said high density fruit plants and root stockings would be imported from European countries to boost fruit production.

This was stated by the Minister during a meeting with the representatives of Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers & Dealers Association (KVFGDA) here on Wednesday.

Chairman KVFGDA and presidents of Fruit Growers and Dealers Associations of all districts attended the meeting.

Veeri said the horticulture is the mainstay of the States’ economy and government is making all out efforts to boost the fruit production by initiating several innovative measures. He said soil testing laboratories would be setup in each district and scrutiny of pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers would be ensured so that penetration of substandard material is checked.

He said the government has already taken several measures to curb the menace of spurious pesticides and fertilizers in the markets. “Enforcement wing of the Horticulture Department has been strengthened and vested with more powers to control and check the sale and purchase of spurious pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers”, he said and warned that any dealer found selling spurious pesticides and fertilizers would be dealt with stringently.

The Minister said cold storage facility would be provided in the districts adding that steps have already been taken to expand fruit and vegetables mandis in all districts. He said measures for upgradation of Fruit Mandis at Sopore, Pulwama, Pampore and Narwal have already been initiated while as development of several fruit and vegetable markets including Jabalpora are apace and would be completed within stipulated time.

Responding to the demands of the Association, the Minister said the government has approached the Centre for flood relief package adding once funds are released, the same would be provided to the affected fruit growers across the State.

The Minister said the issues regarding extension of loan recovery period besides waiving off interest on advances would be taken up with concerned authorities.

For providing adequate and timely transport facility to fruit growers for dispatching their fruit crop outside the state, the necessary steps are also being taken.

Seeking the cooperation of fruit growers for development of horticulture sector, the Minister said that Jammu and Kashmir has immense horticulture potential and to give this sector a boost we need to work collectively.

Earlier the KVFGDA presented a charter of demands including timely  availability of standard fertilizers/pesticides  besides ensuring severe punishment to defaulters found involved in  trade of spurious fungicide and pesticide, frequent visits by experts to orchards to aware fruit growers about spray schedules and latest farming technologies  to increase fruit crop production, introducing horticulture crop insurance, enhancement of KCC loans from 3 to 10 lakh, establishment of horticulture model villages in each districts, setting up of kissan ghars besides providing cold storage facility in all fruits and vegetables markets of the valley .

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