SRINAGAR: Union Minister for Agriculture, Radha Mohan Singh today called on the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti here Tuesday.
During the meeting, several issues of agriculture sector pertaining to Jammu & Kashmir came up for discussion.
An official spokesman said here that the Chief Minister brought into the notice of the Union Minister the need for establishing cold chains in the State to put value addition to the produce and ensure minimizing post harvest losses to the agri and horticultural crops. She informed Singh that the State Government has introduced a special scheme in horticulture sector under which Apple and Mango villages are being developed in the State. She said with the establishment of the cold chains the fruit would reach the markets in time and even the value additions could be made into the produce.
Mehbooba also asked for liberal assistance to the State under the flagship schemes like Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) and micro irrigation scheme-Prime Minister’s Krishi Sinchai Yojna (PMKSY).
The Union Minister assured the Chief Minister that Centre would provide full funding to the State under these programmes. He said his Ministry has earmarked a corpus amount of Rs. Five thousand crore with NABARD under PMKSY. He said his Ministry has launched two new schemes of Agro forestry-under which farmers are allowed to plant trees in their own vacant pieces of land and farmers’ mandi. He asked for taking the benefit of these schemes for which he asked for putting the necessary arrangements in place.
On the research activities in Agriculture sector in the State, the Chief Minister apprised the Union Minister of the activities conducted at SKUAST, Central Institute of Temperate Horticulture and other research stations. She said many successful varieties in rice and maize like Mushkbudji and new strains of cocoon have been developed by the scientists at these Centres. She sought more support to the State for technology transfer from labs to the field.
Singh suggested holding of periodic meetings of senior officers of Agriculture, Horticulture, Fisheries and Livestock Development Departments, experts from ICAR, SKUAST and other research institutes at the State and district levels to monitor and evaluate continuous transfer of latest innovations from laboratories to the farms.
During the meeting, the desirability of setting up of a Horticulture University in view of the huge horticulture produce also came up for discussion.
Ministers, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura, Syed Altaf Bukhari and Dr. Haseeb Drabu and Minister of State, Sunil Sharma besides Principal Secretary, Agriculture Production, were also present in the meeting.