Srinagar: Director Agriculture Kashmir Altaf Aijaz Andrabi today visited village Zawoora block Khonmoh to inspect Mushroom Village laid by the District Administration Srinagar and Agriculture Production and Farmers Welfare Department under Pradhan Manttri Khanij Kshetra Kelyan Yojna 2020 (PMKKKY-2020) for mining affected areas.
Director said establishing of such villages is to provide dignified livelihood to the mining affected areas, for which Department is committed in devising a composite strategy for the development and promotion of mushroom sector to ensure long term sustainable livelihood. He further added that Department is committed to devise a future strategy which could be inclusive, composite and multi-dimensional and should meet out all the requirements in terms of jobs and entrepreneurship.
Andrabi said amid changing trends of food habits in the society, the demand and market value of mushroom has increased manifold, it is the responsibility of the Department to provide all logistic as well as technical support to the budding growers and entrepreneurs for establishing mushroom units which will help in changing the socio economic conditions of the growers.
He added that mushroom production can not only contribute to the domestic consumption but it has commercial dimensions also.
While interacting with the farmers of the village Andrabi said mushroom production has a huge potential to improve the socio economic status of small and marginal farmers and thus asked them to be in touch with the scientists and officers of the scheme so that they can develop their mushroom units on scientific lines to get healthy crop.
Project Coordinator Mushroom Farooq Ahmad Shah during the visit apprised the Director that there has been a substantially better production of the mushrooms during the year 2020-21, he emphasized educated unemployed youth of valley need to be roped in for taking up the mushroom cultivation for earning their livelihood.
Mushroom growers of the area thanked the District Administration and Department of Agriculture for adopting Zawoora as mushroom village which in long term will prove to be beneficial for the village.
During the visit, Director was accompanied by Project Coordinator Mushroom Farooq Ahmad Shah, Chief Agriculture Officer Srinagar Mohammad Younis, Mushroom Specialists Zaffer Ahmad, Mushroom Development Officer Srinagar Syed Mudasir Shafi and other officers of the department.