Navin Kumar Choudhry visits CoE Zawoora and IIKTC Dusoo Pampore

PAMPORE: Principal Secretary Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal and Sheep Husbandry, Navin Kumar Choudhary, along with Director Horticulture Kashmir Aijaz Ahmad Bhat on Monday visited Centre of Excellence (CoE) at Zawoora Khanmoh area of Srinagar outskirts to review its functioning and initiatives being undertaken for the propagation of Horticulture sector by way of new interventions.
The Principal Secretary also held a meeting with the Director Horticulture officer Aijaz Ahmad Bhat and other concerned officers.
The Director Horticulture Aijaz Ahmad Bhat informed the Principal Secretary that the centre is being established at an estimated cost of Rs 9.24 crore. The centre will have facilities for the production of high-quality fruit plants, micro-irrigation, high-tech greenhouse technology, tissue culture labs, bio-control labs and weather forecasting station, besides facilities to diagnose different disease disorders on fruit trees as well as imparting training to the staff/farmers for human resource development.
The Principal Secretary issued instructions for establishing a packaging unit at the centre for packing of fruits for private as well as public sector use. The concerned Executive Engineer was also directed to complete the building work within a month and left out works shall be completed before February 2020.
While interacting with the officers, the Principal Secretary said that horticulture and allied activities constitute the mainstay of the economy of J&K. He said that several initiatives have already been taken in this sector so that it becomes a game-changer for the economy of the UT, besides also helping in generation of job avenues to the people especially the youth.
Talking to Kashmir Reader at Zawoora, the Principal Secretary told that he carried out inspection of centre of excellence which aims at high density plantation to be made available to farmers so that the horticulture produce increases thereby by increasing income of farmers.
“I am happy to see the progress, we need to work more, i told them to complete construction of an under-construction building in one month,” he said, adding that they also need to explore the possibility of opening a package plant here by next year.
The Principal Secretary was informed about the orchards of fruit crops established like cherry, Pear & Peach with the latest technology to enhance productivity on the pattern of Apple High Density Orchards.
The Principal Secretary also inspected walnut nursery established at a cost of Rs 4.98 crore for production of 20000 walnut grated plants for distribution among the farmers. He also inspected high tech Green Houses set up in the nursery.
Later Principal Secretary Navin Kumar Choudhary along with Director Agriculture Syed Aijaz Altaf Andrabi and Director Horticulture Aijaz Ahmad Bhat visited India International Kashmir Trade Centre in Dusoo area of Pampore where he held a meeting with Director Agriculture Syed Altaf Aijaz Andrabi and other other officials.
While talking to Kashmir Reader at IIKTC Dusoo Principal Secretary said “we have all facilities here and online booking has started at National level.
We want our saffron to reach an international market for that we need to have packaging, leveling and certification of international standards,” he said, adding that he was assured by Director Agriculture and his team that within 10 days they will overcome shortcomings within 10 days.
He also told Kashmir Reader that they need two months to operationalize all sprinkler irrigation systems in the Pampore area.
“There was delay because some farmers has stopped us from carrying out the work during plucking of saffron,”he said.

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