JAMMU: Minister for Horticulture, Syed Basharat Ahmed Bukhari Friday convened a high level meeting to review the status and implementation of directions and guidelines issued in various meetings chaired by the Minister earlier in Kashmir, Jammu and New Delhi.
Secretary Horticulture, M H Malik, Director Horticulture (P&M), Peerzada Hafizullah Shah, Director Horticulture Jammu, Bhawani Rakwal and M D JKPHMC, Javaid were present in the meeting.
The Minister said that horticulture contributes substantially to the state’s economy and hence government is committed to ensure accessibility of end to end services to the cultivators involving production, protection, post harvest, management, processing and marketing. “Substantial efforts are underway to revamp and revitalize the horticulture sector in the state”, he added.
For extending irrigation facilities to greater areas under horticulture, the Minister directed digging of bore-wells with requisite electricity supply in plateaus, karewas and areas with low water availability. He further instructed to take up construction of command channels in collaboration with Rural Development Department under MGNREGA with adequate framework for their maintenance by local self government bodies.
With regard to enhanced accessibility to the interior areas of orchards, Bukhari asked the Horticulture Department to identify various roads to be constructed in convergence with Rural Development Department under MGNREGA in a phased manner.
To introduce accountability, transparency and efficiency in regulation of marketing and transportation of horticulture produce in market areas, the Minister directed holding of mandi elections as per provisions of APMC Act. As such Deputy Commissioners of the districts were asked to kick start the election preparations by compiling voters’ lists in this regard to be subsequently followed by rolls verification, filing of objections and election notification by mid July.
In a bid to enhance per hectare yield for horticulture crops, Basharat Bukhari directed up gradation of 80 nurseries to high density nurseries under Prime Minister Development Package. 10 such nurseries in Jammu and Kashmir each are earmarked to be up graded this financial year.
The Minister further directed Secretary Horticulture to frame an expert committee for suggesting measures for drafting Horticulture Policy envisioning planned development for next 20 years.