SRINAGAR, OCTOBER 26 : The government on Monday initiated the process for development of the proposed multi facility centre for dry fruits and saffron at saffron-hub Pampore of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. The Minister for Horticulture, Abdul Rehman Veeri visited the site at Lethapora , Pampore, to explore the possibility of establishing the proposed facility for dry fruits and saffron there.
Mr Veeri inspected the proposed site identified for setting up a modern facility centre for marketing and showcasing famous walnut, almond and saffron of Kashmir besides handicrafts and handloom products also.
MLA Pampore, Mr Mir Zahoor, Director HP&M, Director Horticulture, Kashmir, MD JKHPMC and other senior officers accompanied the Minister during the visit.
The Department of Horticulture Planning and Marketing has identified over 20 kanal land at Lethapora to establish a multi facility centre to give better marketing to the dry fruit, saffron and handicraft products of Kashmir Valley.
The Horticulture Minister during his visit to the site gave nod to the concerned authorities to proceed further in this regard so that the facility comes up at the earliest. He directed them to approach the revenue authorities for demarcation and transfer of the land to HP&M Department. He also instructed that all the codal formalities should be completed well in time for taking up the project works at the site.
“The government is keen to develop a modern terminal market for better marketing of dry fruit and saffron produce. The multi facility centre will have shopping sites, retail shops, administrative block, wayside amenities, cafeteria, guesthouse and weighbridge, besides other amenities,” the Minister informed.
The Minister said that the site for the facility being right on the National High Way at Lethapora would also be beneficial for the tourists and shall promote tourism in the area.
“Walnuts and almonds are among the major dry fruits produced in the state, grown especially in hilly and backward areas where economic condition of the people is “extremely fragile”, he said adding that the facility seeks to give further impetus to support and market these dry fruits in the State in terms of better marketing facilities for their sale.
“The latest techniques of walnut budding and grafting are also being introduced to reduce development period of this crop,” he added.