Jammu: There was a total loss of Rs 784 crore in the horticulture and farming sectors in Kashmir Valley due to the recent floods, followed by an assessment report submitted to New Delhi, the state government said Tuesday.
“The fruit growers of Kashmir Valley sustained huge losses due to recent floods adding that in this regard damage assessment report has been submitted by the government to the centre”, the Minister for Horticulture, Haj and Auqaf, A R Veeri said.
Replying to the supplementaries to the main question by Advocate Bashir Ahmed Dar in the Legislative Assembly, Veeri said among other sectors includes Horticulture crop losses for which an amount of Rs 784 cr representing 50 per cent of the actual loss, these fruit growers have suffered has been projected.
Sharing concern of the members about alleged sale of spurious pesticides, the Minister announced that the government shall enact a stringent law to check this menace in the interest of the world reputed Horticulture Industry.
He said he has directed both Agriculture Universities of the state to prescribe scientifically proven standard pesticides and fungicides to the fruit growers and farmers well in advance of the spray season, so that they are not fleeced by the unscrupulous pesticide traders.
The minister said that horticulture industry has given sustenance to the livelihood of the people of the state in most difficult of times and nobody will be allowed to destroy this vital sector of state’s economy.
He said that promotion of Horticulture sector has been flagged as priority sector by the present government adding that several measures are being taken to promote this sector on modern lines.
The minister said the government proposes to construct one cold storage in each fruit mandi of the state so that fresh fruit is exported in its original flavour to other terminal markets of the country.
In addition, to this soil testing and pesticide testing laboratories would be set up in each district so that production and productivity is increased manifolds on scientific basis, informed the Minister.
The Minister said that to enhance the KCC Loan, the matter would be taken up with the Finance Ministry, adding that 50 per cent KCC loans upto Rs one lakh have been exempted by the government.
He said the government is committed to initiate all necessary measures for the benefit of fruit growers.
He further said that focused attention would be given to develop fruit markets in the districts adding that fruit mandi Sopore would be upgraded and necessary infrastructure shall be ensured at the mandi to facilitate the fruit growers and traders of the area.
The Minister said that efforts would be also made to complete the development of fruit mandi Zazan-Ganderbal. —With PTI inputs