JAMMU: Principal Secretary Finance, Navin K Choudhary Tuesday called for establishing a chain of agro-logistic centers (ALCs) in the State to improve processing, storage, quality assurance, transportation, and distribution of horticultural and allied produce.
“ALCs will provide all necessary post-harvest facilities and services in one place to improve value chain from farm to market through increased efficiency gains for all participants and increase price transmission to small-scale producers and small and medium-sized agribusinesses,” Navin said during thepre-budget discussions of the Agriculture Production, Horticulture, Floriculture, Animal/Sheep Husbandry and allied departments here today.
Principal Secretary, Animal & Sheep Husbandry, Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon, Secretary Agriculture Production &Horticulture, Manzoor Ahmad Lone, Secretary Floriculture, Parks and Gardens, Mohammad Javed Khan, Director Budget, Imtiyaz Ahmad, other senior officers of Finance Department and Heads of Departments of the concerned organizations attended the meeting.
Kashmir-based officers joined the meetings through video-conferencing.
He said the ALCs will also help increase domestic sales and exports of horticulture produce while reducing post-harvest losses and handling costs. “Horticulture remains a promising sector in J&K. This important sector, however, is still underdeveloped due to lack of access to modern production and post-harvest technology and financing,” he said and added that the Government would explore the possibility of financing ALCs on pilot basis.
The Principal Secretary Finance called upon the HoDs of Agriculture, Horticulture and Floriculture Departments to evolve new concepts and innovations by adopting multi-cropping system in the potential areas to enhance production and productivity in the State. He called for making optimum use of available resources and formulation of innovative projects to help boost the State’s rural economy. He also laid stress on developing high density nurseries, seed farms and providing advanced technologies to the farmers so that they can adopt these concepts for enhancing the production.
Navin called for organizing the farmers to adopt the cluster approach in the development of Mushroom, Poultry and dairy sectors which have great scope in the domestic market. He asked for encouraging the farmers to be competitive with their Punjab and Himachal counterparts in developing the latest varieties of fruits, vegetables and multi-grains to earn more profits. He also suggested measures which can be more useful for the farming community.
In the marathon deliberations, Principal Secretary Finance sought the suggestions from concerned officers vis-à-vis realization of targets, revenue generation and implementation of various programmes by these departments and future plans for the next financial year.
Navin laid stress on realization of targets and spending the resources strictly under the budgetary provisions and called for discouraging the practice of creating liabilities. He also urged the HoDs to speed up the on-going projects and complete them in set timeline to avoid cost escalation. He also asked for observing austerity measures and avoiding wasteful expenditure upto the extent possible, especially under the head “Other Expenditures” (O/Exs).
The Administrative Secretaries and HoDs gave detailed status of current year’s expenditures, targets, financial constraints and their future requirements to accomplish the targets and completing the ongoing projects.