In bid to boost horticulture sector of the state, Minister for Horticulture, Syed Basharat Bukhari today said that multi-pronged approach needs to be adopted for ensuring better yield, brand building and marketing of the walnut produces across the state.
The Minister said this while chairing a meeting of officers to review measures to be taken to revitalizes walnut industry of the state.
Vice Chancellor, SKUAST Kashmir Nazeer Ahmad, Secretary Horticulture Manzoor Ahmad Lone, Director Horticulture Planning and Management Manzoor Ahmad Qadri, Director CITH Dr Desh Beer Singh, Director Horticulture Jammu Bhawani Rakwa, CHO Baramulla Saif-ud-din and various other concerned officials were present in the meeting.
Seeking details regarding the status of fruit nurseries and presence of walnut species in these nurseries, the Minister was informed that there is need for developing controlled atmosphere conditions for walnut propagate sapling to yield better fruit.
The Minister directed that Horticulture Department, SKUAST and CITH to take measures to develop three nurseries on modern with scientific inputs, besides constituting core group committee officials from each department who will look after the process of developing these nurseries in a balanced and controlled manner.
Director CITH apprised the Minster about the various activities performed by the Department, besides distribution of plants to improve the horticulture scenario of the state.
Bukhari directed the Director CITH for submitting a detailed report regarding the plant distribution.
He said that the government has undertaken a holistic programme for ensuring the equitable and sustainable development of horticulture sector in the state. He said that Government has recently made HPMC Zero Debt and there is need for making the Corporation vibrant by taking innovative and sustainable measures.
He directed the HPMC officials to work in close coordination with experts of SKUAST and CITH to explore possibilities to produce walnut products, besides taking care of grading, shelf life and modern line packing practices of these products.
Bukhari also directed the concerned for submitting a detailed report regarding the nutritional and medicinal value of fruits found across the state.
The Minister said that the government is committed to achieve the objectives to enhance the production and productivity of quality fruit crops in the State to compete in the national and international markets with highest employment opportunities in horticulture sector.
Bukhari stressed on better marketing practices of horticulture produce of the State, he said that the department needs to work towards improving marketing facilities and building a strong brand.
He said that the Department should work together with farmers for promoting use of new technologies and better farming practices and assured that the government will support the effort of the department to develop the Horticulture sector on modern lines.