JAMMU: Chancellor, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir (SKUAST-K), Governor N N Vohra, chaired the 33rd Council meeting of SKUAST-K, at Raj Bhavan.
Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Nabi Lone, Minister for Horticulture, Syed Basharat Ahmad Bukhari and Minister for Animal, Sheep Husbandry & Fisheries, Abdul Ghani Kohli also participated in the meeting.
Chancellor released three recent publications of the university: “Cultivation of Poplars in Kashmir”, “Experimental Agrometerology: A Practical Manual”, and “Apple Production & Value Chain Analysis”.
In view of the adoption of high density apple orchards in the valley which will increase the apple production by 5 times of the present yield, the chancellor advised minister for horticulture to evolve at least a medium term logistical plan for the grading, storage, packaging, marketing and transportation of the enormously increased horticultural produce.
Minister for Horticulture, Syed Basharat Ahmad Bukhari informed the chancellor that budgetary support had been enhanced for setting up Controlled Atmosphere Stores and providing refrigerated vans and 5 new horticulture nurseries were proposed to be established in the current financial year, a university release read.
Chancellor advised VCs of both the state farm universities to develop varieties of seeds which are drought-resistant and also urged the ministers of speedily changing climatic patterns, for which seeds shall need to be prepared to change the existing cropping pattern and sow alternate crops. He also stressed the importance of mapping the entire Kashmir Valley to identify and earmark areas where particular crops and fruit orchards could be propagated, the release read.
Chancellor urged horticulture minister to put in place an effective quarantine and monitoring mechanism to check the quality of plant materials being imported in to the State so that only high quality disease free plants are provided to the farmers, it further read.
The university has released 72 crop varieties and hybrids and their breeder seed is made available to Agriculture Department who are further using this for multiplying to Foundation and Certified Seeds and supplying to farmers.