SRINAGAR: The government Saturday ordered “massive crackdown” against the traders dealing in substandard pesticides and fertilizers in the state.
The directions were passed by the Minister for Horticulture, Haj and Auqaf, Abdul Rehman Veeri, during his meeting with fruit growers from Kashmir and Jammu regions of the state.
The meeting was held in the state’s winter capital Jammu.
Veeri described horticulture as “the backbone of state’s economy” with about 30 lakh people directly or indirectly associated with it.
“Nobody will be allowed to play with their destiny,” he said.
“All the field agencies of the Horticulture law enforcement wing have been given directions to take strict action against those found dealing in substandard pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers,” he added.
The Minister assured the farmers that he would “personally monitor” the manufacture and inflow of various pesticides in the Valley.
“Wherever the sale of substandard pesticides is detected, stern action will follow, not only against the concerned dealers but also against the concerned Horticulture officer…,” he said.
The action, he said, will include “imprisonment and cancelation of the dealership license and remarks of inefficiency would be entered into the service records of field officer, besides stopping his annual increment.”
Seeking cooperation from the fruit growers and traders, he asked them to be vigilant against any malpractice and to immediately inform the authorities concerned about any cases they come to know of.
Anyone indulging in substandard pesticides is bringing a bad name to the state’s “shining horticulture industry”, he said.
Veeri hinted that a “stringent law” would be introduced to deal with the erring traders.
The Minister stated that the government intends to set up fruit and vegetable markets at district level in the state to provide “adequate marketing facilities” to the fruit growers.