The Government today constituted an Expert Committee to draft and formulate the maiden State Horticulture Policy.
According to an order issued by Secretary Horticulture, M H Malik, the members of the Expert Committee include Prof Nazeer Ahmad, VC SKUAST Kashmir, Dr Pradeep K Sharma, VC SKUAST Jammu, Dr R P Awasthi, former VC YS Parmer University of Horticulture & Forestry Solan, Dr Abdul Ahad Sofi Ex Director CITH, Vijay Sardana Head Food Security & Agri Business, UPL Group and Administrative Secretary Horticulture Department.
The Committee has been mandated to draft comprehensive horticulture policy for 25-30 years and suggest short and long term pre-post harvest measures to increase quality, production, productivity per hectare and suggest appropriate technological interventions human resource development to meet the national nutrition requirements, international competition and safeguard the interest of growers to increase their income.
The expert committee has also been mandated to assess the potential in horticulture sector keeping in view the available land under old and senile orchards in different geo climatic conditions.
It will also assess the impact of national commitment to world Trade Organization (WTO) regime on horticulture sector and suggest appropriate measures to protect the interests of grower by staying competitive in the national and international market.
It will draft the policy keeping in view the growing GDP per capita income and future demand viz-a-viz consumption of fruit in the country as well as in the international market.
Further, the committee can take inputs from Dr Nazir Ahmad Mir, Graduate Faculty, Department of Food Sciences/Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, USA, Electronically or by video conferencing or can be called for the meeting whenever necessary.
The committee shall submit its report within a period of three months from the date of issue of the order.