SRINAGAR: Minister for Horticulture, Syed Basharat Ahmad Bukhari Friday convened a meeting to review the situation arisen after heavy downpour in the valley. He took stock of the losses caused to different varieties of fruit plants due to the heavy rains and snowfall.
Director Horticulture, Joint Director Horticulture Marketing & Planning and other senior officers of the Department attended the meeting. The Minister was apprised that the department has conducted a preliminary survey for assessment of damages caused to horticulture industry due to incessant rainfall in Kashmir division.
The meeting was informed that during preliminary assessment conducted by the department about 5% of Peach, Apricot and Almond plants have suffered damages while as 13% of Cherry, 50% Plum and 35% of sandy variety of Pear plants have suffered losses. It was also told that fruit plants in plains have suffered most while fruit plants in upper reaches have suffered less damage.
Bukhari directed the officers to conduct a detailed survey after a week’s time so that actual figure of damaged fruit plants is known. He instructed for issuing advisory to fruit growers on how to minimize further losses to the horticulture sector, besides establishing a helpline so that people associated with the sector are provided timely assistance.
The Minister asked the officers to use scientific approach for enhancing production and maintaining quality of fruits. He directed them to set targets to boost the horticulture industry which is the key sector for State economy.