50% subsidy on HD plantation, incentives for developing horticulture sector: Director

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SRINAGAR: Director Horticulture, Manzoor Ahmad Qadri on Thursday said the department is providing support to farmers both in plantation and mechanisation, adding that in plantation the department provides 50% percent subsidy on high density (HD) plantation, Rs 2 lakh on pack houses, Rs 50 thousand on vermicompost, besides subsidy worth crores of rupees on Control Atmosphere Stores (CAS) and cold storages.
Qadri said the department provides subsidies to the farmers on the machines they purchase as per their requirement and later transfer the subsidy amount to their account through direct benefit transfer (DBT), an official handout read.
He said the department has already drafted horticulture policy and the same would be brought into the public domain to seek inputs from growers “so that no lacunae remain there and farmers can derive benefits from it,” he said.
Emphasising on shunning the practice of ‘contract farming’, he said farmers should sell their produce in fruit mandis and form Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) in each zone so that selling agricultural produce could be streamlined.
Qadri said that there is no specific insurance for horticulture crops and that they (the department) are trying to extend existing crop insurance meant for paddy and corn to weather-based horticulture sector.
He was speaking during a district-level ‘farm machinery mela’ and training-cum-awareness programme for farmers under Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) at its Lal Mandi office here.
The mela was jointly inaugurated by Director Horticulture, Manzoor Ahmad Qadri and Additional District Development Commissioner (ADDC), Srinagar, Mehrajud din.
Experts from Sheri Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences (SKUAST) and Krishi Vigyan held interactions with farmers and counseled them on technical and other problems related to diseases and agricultural produce, the handout read.
The director said that the mela was rganised to create awareness among the farmers regarding the use of new technologies in improving the produce besides apprising them of the monetary support in terms of subsidies.
ADDC Srinagar, MehrajUd Din stressed farmers to incorporate new farming techniques so that production is improved, it added.