Punjab minister visits Kashmir’s agricultural institutions, explores sericulture, horticulture practices

Chetan Singh Jouramajra visits CSR&TI, IIKSTC Pampore, calls for adopting beneficial practices for Punjab’s agri advancement

PAMPORE: Punjab’s Horticulture Minister, Chetan Singh Jouramajra, led a delegation to explore agricultural advancements in Kashmir, focusing on sericulture and horticulture practices that could benefit Punjab’s farmers.
The Minister, accompanied by the Special Secretary for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of Punjab, and 14 officers and progressive farmers, visited prominent institutions and facilities during their study tour. The tour began at the Central Sericulture Research and Training Institute (CSR&TI) in Galander Pampore. There, Minister Jouramajra and his team inspected various sections, including the Sericultural Museum and post-cocoon technology units. They received detailed briefings on the institute’s research and training initiatives, highlighting technological advancements aimed at enhancing sericulture productivity.
Later, the Minister and the delegation proceeded to the India International Kashmir Saffron Trading Centre (IIKSTC) in Dusoo Pampore. They toured the e-auction platform and observed the saffron processing facilities, which included stigma separation, drying, grading, and packing units. Officials at IIKSTC briefed the delegation on the center’s operations, emphasizing its role in supporting saffron farmers and facilitating market access.
Earlier, the Minister also visited Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir (SKUAST-K). He admired the diversity of agricultural products, including apples, pears, and various flowers. Of particular note was his appreciation for the Kiwi plantation, which he described as beautiful and productive. “The Kiwi plantation here bears abundant fruit, signaling significant developments in Kashmir’s horticulture,” Minister Jouramajra remarked, noting the potential for locally sourced Kiwi plantation materials to replace imports from New Zealand.
Throughout the visit, Minister Jouramajra expressed gratitude to the authorities and officials of Kashmir for their hospitality and insights. He affirmed his commitment to fostering collaboration between the Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir governments for the advancement of agriculture, pledging to implement learnings from the study tour to develop best practices in Punjab.
Speaking to Kashmir Reader at IIKSTC Pampore, Horticulture Minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra said, “We have been on a study tour and we should always seek knowledge irrespective of age,” he said, adding that it is in this spirit that they visited sericulture, horticulture, and the saffron park in Kashmir to see if there is a possibility of adopting some practices in Punjab.
“Some things are very promising for Punjab, like sericulture. We have a lot of scope for sericulture in Punjab,” he said, adding that if pear varieties grown in Kashmir come to Punjab, the farmers will be greatly benefited. He expressed his gratitude to the agriculture authorities of Kashmir for facilitating their study tour. He also appreciated the officers and officials of IIKSTC Dusoo for guiding them during their visit to the facility.
“We have a full delegation here; we learned a number of things which we will implement in Punjab to develop some good practices,” Minister Jouramajra said, adding that they will continue working with the Jammu and Kashmir government on different things for the development of agriculture. The Minister told Kashmir Reader that they also visited SKUAST-Kashmir, where they observed apples, pears, and flowers in many varieties and shades. He was particularly impressed with the Kiwi plantation at SKUAST-Kashmir. “The Kiwi plantation is so beautiful and bears abundant fruit, which is an indication that many developments have been occurring in Kashmir horticulture,” he said, adding that now Kiwi plantation material will be available locally as it was previously imported from New Zealand.

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