Department of Horticulture holds awareness camp at Shopian

SRINAGAR: An awareness cum training camp was organised at, Arhama District Shopian by the Department of Horticulture. This was 10th such camp organised by Department to reach out to the farmers under Good Governance Week and as a part of “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”.
Director General Horticulture Kashmir Mr. Ajaz Ahmad Bhat (JKAS) was the Chief Guest of the function while as District Development Commissioner Shopian was the guest of honour.
In his address, Director General Horticulture, elaborated in detail about the various central and UT sponsored schemes offered by the Department and highlighted the various components of these schemes and advised the farmers to avail the benefits under these schemes. Regarding post-harvest management DG informed that Department is offering various initiatives like establishment of walnut de-hulling units, grading/packaging lines, low-cost processing units etc.
He also assured that special focus will be given to organic farming and said that vermicompost units particularly in tribal areas will be establish on large scale. He further appraised that about 3.0 lakh Apple Clonal rootstock imported from Netherlands have been successfully transplanted and further propagated in the District at Advanced Centre for Horticulture Development(ACHD) Zainpora. He also said that an Almond Nursery is also being established in the district at Fruit Plant Nursery Zainpora to revive the declining almond production.
DG Horticulture further informed that the Shopain district is being developed as a cluster district for apple under the Horticulture Cluster Development Programme (CDP) and JKHPMC has been nominated as Cluster Development Agency for the same.
Speaking on the menace of growing narcotics crops in various parts of the District, DG assured that the Department will devise a more profitable crop substitution programme and will also provide farmers with material and technical assistance for growing alternate horticultural crops like HD apple plantation.
Regarding the modified High-Density Plantation Scheme, He said a targeted area of 5500 hectares will be covered in the UT and encouraged the farmers of the area particularly marginal and small farmers to come forward and take the advantage of the Scheme. He further elaborated that besides Apple other fruit crops like Cherry, Pear, Plum, Walnut Almond etc. can be planted and a minimum 01 and maximum of 20 kanals of land will be covered per beneficiary. He further added that shifting to High Density Plantation is the only way forward to increase the production and productivity and to compete with the international market.

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