Major initiatives underway to boost horticulture produce, marketing
Jammu and Kashmir News
SRINAGAR AUGUST 06:- Minister for Horticulture, Mr. Abdul Rehman Veeri today distributed allotment letters of shop sites among 55 growers at Fruit and Vegetable Mandi, Zazna, Ganderbal. The shop sites have been allotted to the fruit growers and traders by draw of lots.
Member Legislative Assembly Ganderbal Mr. Sheikh Ishfaq Jabar, District Development Commissioner Ganderbal, Director Horticulture Planning and Marketing, Director Horticulture Kashmir, MD JKPCC, Former Minister Qazi Mohammad Afzal besides representatives of fruit growers association Ganderbal were present on the occasion.
Addressing Fruit growers and traders on the occasion, the Horticulture Minister said that Rs. 7.45 crore is being expended on the development of Zazna Fruit and Vegetable Mandi. He said the Mandi after completion would provide marketing facility to the fruit growers of the district for fetching better returns adding that all requisite hi-tech facilities would be provided to the mandi for convenience of fruit growers of the area.
Horticulture Minister said that Government is taking major initiatives to boost the Horticulture produce and its marketing in the State. He said the Government is planning to launch a horticulture crop insurance scheme to protect fruit growers against losses incurred due to inclement weather. “The Government is contemplating to introduce horticulture crop insurance in the state to safeguard the interests of fruit growers after consulting the reputed insurance companies and J&K Bank authorities”, he said and added that the fruit growers suffer huge losses due to natural calamities and Government wants to compensate them by various means. He said the State Government has made a compensation case of the flood affected including fruit growers and submitted it to the Centre for sanction. He said once the funds received from the Central government, the affected fruit growers of the State would be also compensated.
The Minister said that to enhance the KCC loan to the orchardists, the matter has been taken up with the Finance Ministry, adding that 50 percent KCC loans up to Rs. one lakh had been exempted by the Government. He said that the Government was committed to initiate all necessary measures for the benefit of fruit growers.
The Minister called upon the officers to motivate the growers and traders to ensure quality of fruit, especially the apple to fetch attractive return of their products. He said in the era of competition in the market the quality control is must and “we have to focus on this vital area to maintain the credibility of State’s horticulture produce”.
The Minister stressed on exploring new markets to promote State’s horticulture products. He said the Government would also consider developing a dry fruit mandi at Kangan. He said appropriate steps would be also taken to promote grape production in Ganderbal area.
The Minister said that a soil testing laboratory would be established in Ganderbal also and pesticides laboratory would be set up at Srinagar adding that Government has earmarked Rs. 8 Crore for the purpose during current fiscal. He said that high density apple plants would be also introduced in the district for better produce and rejuvenation of senile orchards.
Calling for a well-knit and coordinated efforts to achieve the new year’s targets, the Minister asked the officers to put on their best efforts to enhance the business activities in their jurisdictions to improve the State’s economy further.
MLA, Ganderbal, Ishfaq Jabbar and former Minister, Qazi Mohammad Afzal also addressed on the occasion and hailed the efforts of the Government for making the fruit mandi functional in the area. They urged that the area needs the special attention for development of fruit and vegetable produce, as the area has huge potential under horticulture sector.