Minister for Horticulture Syed Basharat Bukhari today called on Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Radha Mohan Singh at New Delhi and discussed various issues pertaining to the overall welfare of the fruit industry of J&K State.
The meeting was attended by Union Secretary for Horticulture, Secretary Horticulture J&K State, M H Malik and other senior officers.
The minister during his interaction said that J&K government is making all efforts to boost fruit and vegetable sector across the country as the Horticulture Sector is one of the primary contributors of the state economy and provide employment to the large chunk of population.
During the meeting Bukhari proposed that there should be a Horticulture University in Kashmir that will further help in boosting this sector in the state. The union Minister assured that financial assistance would soon be provided for establishment of Horticulture University in Kashmir.
Minister said that the state government should start the process of establishment of the horticulture university and the centre will provide the necessary financial and other related support.
Bukhari while asking for establishment of Horticulture University in Kashmir, said that the same is imperative for increasing the annual yield of horticulture produce of Rs 7000 crore to 40,000 crore and in this regard the state government has already constituted a high level committee of technocrats of horticulture and related fields to formulate the horticulture policy which would soon submit the report on the basis of which a comprehensive State Horticulture policy envisaging the parameters to be adopted for increasing the sector’s potential visa-a-viz the fruit production and its consumption in the country and abroad for next 30 years.
Bukhari also asked for taking necessary measures for deletion of 1-MCPfrom the Insecticide Act of 1968 in order to allow the JK Govt to generate/ manufacture the product based on the molecule to enhance the shelf life of the fruit produced in the state especially the apple for use in orchards and Controlled-Atmosphere-Stores. Union Minister directed the officers to fix a meeting in order to take a decision in this regard.
During the meeting the minister further discussed with Union Minister for placement of permanent space for exhibiting activity and promotion of marketing Horticulture produce of the state. On this the Union Minister said that the government is establishing Agriculture Haat at Pusa where state will be given due space.
On demand of the state minister, the Union Minister also gave direction to his officials to come up with a concept proposal to arrest the irregular rates of fungicides, insecticides and other related molecules in market so that the farming community will get benefited at the large scale.
The Ministers also discussed about the rate of cardboard boxes to be subsidised and proposal for high density of Mango fruits (drip and drip less) for growth of Horticulture sector in Jammu. He said the Jammu region has high potential for mango produce and introducing modern technology in the sector will help in increasing the produce. Union minister asked the state government to formulate a detailed proposal in this regard.
Union Minister while asking for taking the steps for providing subsidy to the prospective entrepreneurs for establishing manufacturing units of card board boxes needed for packaging of the fruit produced, said, that same should be done as early as possible as it would besides arresting the tendency of using wooden boxes also provide employability and better packaging facility to the fruit produce.