Kashmir can become top golfing, flower-growing destination: Mehbooba

Kashmir can become top golfing, flower-growing destination: Mehbooba

Inaugurates Flower Show, distributes prizes among golfers
SRINAGAR: Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, on Sunday asserted that Kashmir has all the trappings of becoming a top-class golfing destination, provided the existing courses where facilities match global standards are effectively marketed in the country.
The chief minister was speaking during the prize distribution ceremony of the CM’s Golf Tournament at the picturesque Royal Springs Golf Course (RSGC), on Sunday.
Principal secretary to the chief minister, Navin K Chaudhary, secretary tourism, floriculture, gardens & parks, Farooq A Shah, deputy commissioner, Srinagar, Farooq A Lone and director tourism, Kashmir, Mahmood Ahmad Shah were also present on the occasion.
Comparing the courses at Pahalgam and Royal Springs with the very best, the chief minister said golf was very dear to her father and she will pursue his dream of making Kashmir the foremost golfing destination in India.
Earlier, the chief minister distributed prizes among the winners of the CM’s Golf Tournament which included Ishfaq Hussaini for the longest drive, Nitin Wazir for closest-to-pin, Abrar Khwaja for straight drive and Tanveer Malik & Rizwan Bashir for highest margin. A special award was also given to veteran golfer Mir Nasararullah.
The team led by Najam-u-Saqib won the winner’s cup while the team led by Deen Wali was given the runners-up cup. As many as 84 golfers participated in the day-long event.
Later, the chief minister arrived at the Botanical Garden where she inaugurated a Flower Show in which around 10,000 exotic flowers of different varieties ranging from roses, gladioli to lily and medicinal & aromatic plants (MAPs) were displayed by flower growers from all over the valley.
Minister for Haj & Auqaf (IC), floriculture, gardens & parks, Syed Farooq Ahmad Andrabi, MLA Sonwar, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, secretary Farooq A. Shah, DC, Srinagar and director floriculture, Talat Pervez, were also present on the occasion.
Emphasizing upon online marketing of flowers, the chief minister urged the farmers to take benefit from various government schemes for promotion of floriculture, in view of the ideal climatic conditions available in the valley. She also asked the floriculture department to familiarize the farmers with the latest techniques in flower cultivation, conservation and exhibition.
“Keeping in view the huge potential, the possibility of increasing the budget for promotion of floriculture as a commercial activity will be explored,” she said, advising the flower growers to adopt best practices like micro-irrigation and flower seed protection to promote their industry.
While interacting with a number of growers, the CM was briefed about the huge potential valley has in cultivation of MAPs, especially lavender and rose oils. She was informed that a target of 5000 ha has been fixed for lavender cultivation, given its high market value.
Mehbooba appreciated the farmers in cultivating flowers and MAPs of such a wide-ranging variety. She also praised the young girl students who participated in an art competition organized on the occasion.

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