Minster for Horticulture, Syed Basharat Bukhari today said the Government is exploring the possibility of further establishing a chain of Cold Atmospheric (CA) Stores to provide better facilities to people associated with fruit industry across the State.
The Minister said this while chairing a meeting regarding Fruit and Vegetable production, Processing and Integrated Cold Chain facilities for Horticulture produces.
Vice Chairmen Horticulture Development Board, Abdul Salam Reshi, Secretary Horticulture, Manzoor Ahmad Lone, Director Horticulture, Mathora Masoom, Director Horticulture Planning & Management, Manzoor Ahmad Qadri, Representative from Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) and members of J&K Fruit & Vegetable Processing & Integrated Cold Storage Chain Association were present in the meeting.
Bukhari asked the Cold Atmospheric unit holders to provide storage for fruits to the growers at affordable rates. He said a mass awareness drive would be launched about the benefits of using post-harvest storage facilities such as Cold Atmospheric Stores among the growers.
He directed for constituting a joint taskforce committee of officials of Horticulture Department, J&K Bank and SKUAST to organize mass awareness campaign to motivate farmers to adopted modern farming techniques, besides utilizing Cold Atmospheric facilities to fetch better returns.
In a detailed discussion regarding further development of cold storage facilities in the State, members of J&K Fruit & Vegetable Processing & Integrated Cold Storage Chain Association apprised the Minister about various issues and suggestion to boost the Horticulture sector.
Lauding the work of the Association, the Minister urged its members for working in close coordination with Horticulture Department and for their efforts for the betterment and development of the sector.
He said the horticulture industry has huge potential to boost the socio-economic scenario in the State and the Government is taking a slew of measures to revamp the industry, besides promoting modern farming technology in the State.
He urged the officials as well as the members of the Association to work with added dedication and utmost professionalism, besides positive intervention, suggestion and innovative measures to revamp the horticulture industry of the State.
Bukhari said that Government is formulating a visionary document in the form of State Horticulture Policy which will act as a roadmap for next 30 years to develop the horticulture sector.