SRINAGAR: The government has decided to implement Small Farmers Agri-Consortium (SFAC) concept in order to strengthen the value addition in horticulture sector.
When in place the consortium will include representation from various development boards dealing with individual crops and public sector corporations dealing with agriculture and agro-industries, private sector companies, banks, scientific organizations and the farmers’ organizations.
This was disclosed by Minister for Housing, Horticulture and Youth Services and Sports, Raman Bhalla during his address in day-long seminar on “Schemes of Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries” held at SKICC here on Tuesday.
Bhalla said that the government is giving focused attention to boost and rejuvenate horticulture several landmark initiatives have been taken for its revitalization and development besides enhancing productivity by using modern technology.
The minister said this while addressing in day-long seminar on “Schemes of Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries”.
Bhalla said that SFAC concept is being implemented in the state to strengthen apple value chain besides developing food processing sector with an objective of facilitating value addition to the agriculture and allied productions.
He said launch of HORTNET Portal is also a milestone for boosting horticulture industry.
Union Secretary Ministry of Food Processing Siraj Hassan said the state has great potential for horticulture and allied sectors and centre government is ready to provide funds to implement different schemes launched by the union government.
He emphasized upon the State government authorities to involve more and more people in the horticulture sector so that they are able to get maximum benefit and good returns from the various schemes launched by the Union Ministry of food Processing.
The seminar was organized jointly by J&K State Industrial Development Corporation (SIDCO) and National Mission on Food Processing, (NMFP) J&K.
Financial Commissioner I&C Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, Union Joint Secretary Food Processing, Venketashvara, Secretary Horticulture, Sanjeev Verma, officers of State and Central government besides, large gathering of representative of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Industries and entrepreneurs were also present on the occasion.
Bhalla said that in-spite of being the largest Apple producing state in the country; there are many challenges in existing supply chain which restricts farmers in realizing the due value for their products. Government has taken several measures and launched various schemes to benefit farmers. He said to improve the functioning and work culture in horticulture and its allied sectors the government is upgrading food processing industries so that people associated with this sector are benefitted besides ample employment opportunities are generated as well.
Commissioner Secretary Horticulture also threw light upon the development of horticulture industry and said that state government has made comprehensive project of Rs 1300 crore by incorporating public and private sector for the development of horticulture sector for current year.