4 lakh root stocks planted; 51 ha HDP plantations by private enterprises

Department facilitating marketing, sale of cherry crop

JAMMU: Horticulture Department’s activities gained momentum in the region, with relaxation in the lockdown restrictions, to facilitate fruit growers resume and revive their operations with maintainence of its nurseries across the Kashmir Valley amid COVID-19 Pandemic, while strictly following the guidelines and SOPs issued by the government.
The department, in an endeavor to give respite to the horticulture farmers through deliverance of much needed services, has ensured that the Directorate of Horticulture (Kashmir) alongwith all Subordinate Offices function with the requiste number of staff. The offices are working with minimum possible manpower on rotation basis as per the guidelines, so that the department reaches out to the fruit growers with every possible help.
Regarding manpower in the offices, the District Heads of the Department formulated duty rosters for subordinate staff to provide assistance to the orchardists in carrying out various time bound operations. The department also ensured a safe and healthy environment for the subordinate staff to work in.
With a view to maintain the plant stock, all departmental farms and nurseries are being maintained properly. Besides, the functioning of sale and service Centres of Agriculture equipments and farm machinery alongwith skilled manpower were duly facilitated during the period.
Considering the importance for provision of timely inputs for orchids, the department provided every possible assistance to the fertilizer and pesticide sale outlet owners to carry out their business for the benefit of fruit growers.
Likewise, the movement of Private Enterprises entrusted with the job of establishment of high density orchards in all districts of Kashmir valley, is also being facilitated through Divisional and District Administration.
To save the fruit growers from incurring the losses due to non-sale of their produce, the department extended every help for smooth movement of vehicles loaded with fruit from C A stores towards terminal mandies.
Taking another major move for the benefit of the fruit growers, the department has started steps for marketing and sale of cherry crop and a proposal in this regard stands submitted to Government.
Taking into consideration the requirement of fruit growers for technical and related help, the Department established a Helpline at Directorate and all District Headquarters besides creating WhatsApp groups at Zonal and District and Divisional level to enable them to seek any type of assistance in this regard.
Meanwhile, spray schedules in booklet and Poster form regarding plant protection measures for apple fruit crop have been distributed among farmers in all the districts.
In another significant move, the department has successfully planted around 2.20 lakh clonal root stock imported from Netherlands at its Zainapora farm under PEQ facility, while around 51 hectare area has been brought under High Density Plantation (HDP) by the Private Enterprises.
Furthermore, around 4.00 lakh root stocks/ plant material has been planted successfully in departmental nurseries in various districts of the valley during the period.

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