Committee set to work out modalities for establishing horti university

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JAMMU: Aimed at establishing a separate horticulture university on fasttrack mode, the government has constituted a high level committee to work out the modalities and financial implications for establishment of University for Horticulture in Jammu and Kashmir.
The committee would comprise of chief secretary as its chairman and administrative secretaries, finance department, planning, development and monitoring department, agriculture production department and department of law, justice and parliamentary affairs as members besides administrative secretary of horticulture department as member secretary and dean horticulture SKAUST-Kashmir as its expert member, an official handout issued on Friday read.
The committee shall also propose the consequential amendments required to be carried out in Sher-e- Kashmir University of Agriculture, Science and Technology Act 1982.The committee shall be serviced by the horticulture department.
The government has already initiated a slew of innovative measures to boost horticulture sector in the state with emphasis on research and skill development in the field.
J&K’s horticulture is contributing Rs. 8000 crore towards state’s economy with about 8% contributions towards its GDP. The state produces 70% of the national production in apple, 92% in walnuts, 91% in almonds and systematic efforts are underway to further strengthen the state’s position in production of fresh and dry fruits, the handout read.
Government has taken up an ambitious project of convergence at least 50 per cent of traditional horticulture orchards in to high density once it is expected that this will give up huge boost to the Horticulture industries making it worth 50—60 thousand crore in next 25 years. The stress is being laid on conversion of traditional plants into high density plants to get most gainful outcome, it further read. As per the census conducted by the horticulture department there are 7.63 crore fruit plants in the state.
The total horticulture production in the state has risen to 24.50 lakh MTs with coverage of 3.38 lakh hectare area in 2017-18 from mere 30,000 MTs with coverage of 16 hectare land in 1960, it added.