Srinagar: Kashmir is known for its organic produce, be it fruits or vegetables or other cash crops, the Valley produce has attracted buyers in hordes. However, given the present market setup and the interest agro products from Kashmir have been generating among potential buyers, the market has remained more or less untapped.
But given the fact that the government has come up with an idea of starting ‘Kashmir Fresh’ brand under which all the vegetables and fruits will be categorized and sold in the market, needs appreciation.
The agriculture department that has been tasked to get the project up and running, however should primarily visualize the potential the project holds.
‘Kashmir Fresh’ brand will attract the people across the globe. The fruits, vegetables, honey and saffron, which will be packed under this brand, will be a pure Kashmir origin and organic produce original in nature and without any adulteration.
The project therefore if initiated can tap three sectors, which include vegetables, apiculture and exotic varieties.
However, the project has to be conceived and planned on scientific lines keeping in view the modern day requirements of the clientele. The government needs to get its ground and field staff prepared for ensuring that the project becomes a success and invokes interest from the clients who form the bedrock of any successful venture.
For this modern Farmers Training and Educational Centre (FTEC), Centre for excellence of vegetables and up gradation of Nunar Farm for Lavendar cultivation under NABARD loan should offer all the basic and modern requirements for facilitating the farmers during their training session.
The officials and other staff also needs to be trained in various sectors that form the basics of running an enterprise keeping in view the modern day requirements.
Agriculture and its allied activities still remain the backbone of the economy of the state. The state with over 65 percent of its population depends on agriculture and allied sectors. These sectors contribute around 27 percent to the State’s income.
The diversity in physiographic features, agro-climatic variations at macro and micro level, existence of cold arid, temperate, inter-mediate and sub-tropical zones within a small geographical area of 2.22 lakh square kilometers, speaks volumes about the vast agricultural potential in the State.
Interestingly, the 70 percent of the Net Sown Area is under food crops and the area under fruits is a little over 13 percent. Viability of agriculture as a profession is presently affected by capital inadequacy, lack of infrastructural support and controls on movement, storage and sale etc of agricultural produce.
However, out of the box thinking like the proposal to set up Kashmir Fresh brand can work wonders, but only if the activities are managed and on professional lines.