Editorial: Horticulture boost

Horticulture Minister made an announcement two days back that the Horticulture, Industry needs to be revamped and revitalizing as the sector forms the backbone of the State’s economy.   

The Ministers suggestions augur well as the Valley of Kashmir has good potential for production of a variety of fruit especially the apple. We have the Horticulture Department taking care of all round improvement of horticulture production in terms of quantity and quality and preservation and marketing of the product judiciously so that the industry is beneficial for the horticulturists of the Valley.

Pertinently, the Chief Minister last month took an appraisal meeting regarding various technology interventions in vogue in horticulture sector around the world and especially in developed countries in the West.

The government has planned to augment the horticulture sector by including the J&K Bank, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST), Department of Horticulture and Department of Tourism to work jointly to provide requisite boost to the horticulture sector.

The officials of the horticulture department also have been directed to draw forward-looking roadmaps through perspective planning for improving quality and production of horticulture crops by integrated implementation of viable, eco-friendly, validated and refined technologies.

Importantly, a visionary document in the form of a Horticulture Policy for next 20 years is also being prepared.

It is an admitted fact that in western developed countries research of highest degree has been conducted over the years for not only improving but radically reforming the horticulture industry taking into account all of its facets like use of new technology for improving quality of apple, increasing the yield, protecting the shelf, preserving till it reaches the consumers and marketing it in time.

This is a fully developed industry in western countries. J&K State is poised for a big technological intervention in all factors of apple industry.

It is heartening to know that the Horticulture Department is seized of the programme of inducting the technologies of developed countries into our horticulture industry in a manner that we are able to provide the horticulturist most modern technological skills for turning industry into a real profit earning one.

For decades the growers have been struggling with controlling the scab and now that phase is over, the thrust is for improving  quality and quantity of the apple, marketing it in scientific manner  and making the industry remunerative in true sense  of  the word so that it drastically changes the life pattern of our horticulture entrepreneurs.

In case horticulture industry is developed along modern scientific lines and latest technology is inducted into it, there is every possibility that it can become the mainstay of our economy. At the same time, it would open the scope for bringing more and more karevas and foothill lands under horticultural production to boost the economy. This is an adventure worth experimenting.

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