The Minister for Horticulture, Basharat Bukhari Monday asked the horticulture department to take up area specific plantation of fruit in this border district on mission mode for a visible impact on the ground.
He was chairing a review meeting of Horticulture Department here at district administrative complex.
Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Shahid Iqbal Choudhary presented a resume of the activities and achievements of the horticulture department in the district. He apprised that total area under horticulture sector in the district is 15473 hectares with an annual produce of 34732 metric tons – the major fruit crops being walnut, stone fruits, apple, pear, pecan nuts, guava, beri, mango, loquat and citrus fruits.
He further informed that for the FY-2016-17, against an allocation of Rs. 269.37 lakh, an expenditure of Rs. 214.35 lakh was incurred on up-gradation of 4 departmental nurseries (4 No.), area expansion (162.5 Hectares), Shade House Tubular (207 No.), vermin compost (14 No.), Vermin Bed (9 No.), Pack House (5 No.), Shallow Well (02), water lifting devices (14 No.), restoration of traditional water bodies (4 No.), demonstration plots (18 No.) besides other miscellaneous activities.
It was also given out in the meeting that during the ongoing plantation drive of rainy season the department has so far planted 11650 saplings of fruit plants on 50 hectares of land in various parts of the district.
The Minister, while applauding the impressive performance of district administration and horticulture department, said the horticulture which is the backbone of state economy should be developed in equitable and sustainable manner and on scientific lines.
He impressed upon the concerned department to take the plantation of fruit crop specific to the area of the district on mission mode so that visible impact could be made on ground.
To ensure sustainable development of the horticulture sector he directed the C.H.O. to organize series of meetings with the beneficiaries of last 3 years under various schemes of the department so as to get feedback and suggestions for further improvement. He also impressed that the health of newly planted saplings should be taken care off.
“The irrigation system in the district needs further strengthening and for that the chief horticulture officer will submit a Detailed Project Report (DPR). Once approved the work on it can be taken up in convergence with MG-NREGA”, he added.
Among others the director horticulture Bhawani Rakwal, ADDC A.S. Chib, CPO Abdul Hamid, SSP Yougal Manhas and CHO Kirtan Singh Raina were present in the meeting.