SRINAGAR: Minister for Horticulture, Abdul Rehman Veeri, on Tuesday directed the Horticulture department to go ahead with establishment of two Centers of Excellence in two capital cities of the state.
“The move is aimed at acquainting the farmers and fruit growers with latest technical knowhow of horticulture cultivation for better and quality produce in the state,” a statement quoting the minister as saying in his meeting here with officers of the department and representative of Netherlands.
The meeting was convened to discuss the DPR formulated in consultation with the Dutch experts for setting up the two Centers in the state, it said.
Commissioner Secretary Agriculture Production, Horticulture Directors for Kashmir and Jammu regions, Director Planning Agriculture Production, and Netherlands’ Senior Horticulture Expert Antoon Andela participated in the meeting, it said.
The state has sought expertise of Netherlands for establishment of the Centers of Excellence under horticulture sector. The DPRs for the Centres have been formulated by the government in consultation with the Dutch experts.
In his presentation, the Netherlands’ Senior Horticulture Expert talked about the “pros and cons” of the DPRs.
He, as per the handout, stated that the state has a “tremendous horticulture potential”, which needs to be explored fully on scientific basis to increase the production of quality fruits.
Veeri asked the department to focus on use of “best practices and latest technologies” in improving quality and yield of fruits.
The minister called for undertaking regular awareness campaigns in all fruit-growing districts “to make the farmers cognizant about the new practices and ways to improve the quality and production”.
The government’s endeavor, he said, is to give “fresh imputes” to the horticulture sector in the state for which it has taken some “innovative measures” to be implemented gradually.
“Two courses in horticulture sector will be introduced soon through the government-owned ITIs to cater to the manpower requirement,” he announced. “Government will also establish model villages for apple, mango, kinnow, and apricot fruits in Kashmir, Jammu, and Ladakh divisions, respectively.”