Minister for Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs and Information today launched a special plantation drive here at Kotedhara being carried out by Horticulture Department to promote citrus fruit growing in this border district.
The plantation is being carried out under ‘Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture’ scheme to cover 100-hectare land in the area as the first phase of the drive.
During the drive that would continue during the ongoing monsoon, the department has targeted to plant 12500 saplings of Citrus fruits in convergence mode with Rural Development Department.
Addressing a mammoth gathering after the launch of the drive, the Minister said Rajouri district has huge potential for the lucrative horticulture sector, which needs to be tapped to the full.
“We should take the cue from highly advanced horticulture sector in Kashmir valley. District Rajouri too has huge potential for horticulture sector owing to its vast stretches of fertile land and diverse agro-climatic conditions” he said adding “If developed on scientific lines, the horticulture sector can absorb a whole lot of unemployed youth of the region.”
He called upon the people to adopt modern farming techniques and plant High Yielding Fruit trees to improve their income and Socio- Economic Status.
Zulfikar informed that government has decided to promote horticulture in Rajouri district in a big way and the special plantation drive launched here is part of the plan. “In the first phase, the department has identified 100 Hectare land at Kotedhara and adjoining areas to introduce High Yielding Citrus fruit Plants on mission mode and it would be extended to other parts of the district in due course of time”” he informed further.
On the occasion, the Minister also listened to the demands of local people who sought up-grading, construction of roads, augmentation of water and power supply, provisions for adequate public transport etc. The Minister assured the public that needful will be done to address their issues.
A mega awareness camp was also organized on the sidelines of the launch function. The participating departments informed the general public about various centrally sponsored schemes, Self- Employment Schemes and flagship programs of Central and State Governments of their respective departments.
Deputy Commissioner Rajouri Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Director FCS & CA Department Jammu R A Inqlabi, Director Horticulture Jammu Bhawani Rakwal besides district and sectoral heads of different departments were also present.