Terming Horticulture sector as the backbone of State’s economy, Advisor to the Governor, Khurshid Ahmad Ganai today urged upon all the stakeholders to work in synergy to revamp and revitalize it on modern lines.The Advisor (G) was speaking with various delegations from the Horticulture sector during his weekly public outreach programme.Seeking cooperation from all the stakeholders, the Advisor said that Horticulture has always played an important role in the socio-economic development of the State. Therefore, all the stakeholders, including farmers, dealers, and people affiliated with the sector should offer their helping hand to Government, by adapting farmer friendly innovations and policies, he said. Describing horticulture as a lucrative venture, the Advisor Ganai urged upon the unemployed youth of the State to consider it as a viable career option. He said by introducing the latest technological advancements in the sector, an entrepreneur can not only reap huge dividends for himself but could also alleviate the financial health of many families by providing them jobs.Urging farmers to adopt modern farming technology, Ganai said change is must and to boost the production, State farmers have to adopt modern technology and use innovative plans. Ganai said that efforts should to be made to bridge the gap between farmers, researchers, and policymakers.
Directing for taking remedial measures to address various issues pertaining to the sector, the Advisor said it is imperative that proper care and precautions are taken to maintain the good health of the plant. The Advisor after hearing the complaints by various fruit growers associations and societies, issued on spot directions to the Director Agriculture, Director Horticulture, Director Enforcement Agency to immediately start a drive to put a check on the practice of selling spurious pesticides and fungicides, if sold, in the market. He said those found guilty should strictly be dealt with.More than 40 delegations, which included Kashmir Fruit Growers and dealers Association Fruit Mandi, Sopore, Dry Fruit Growers and dealers Association Kashmir, Baramulla Fruit Growers and Dealers Association Kashmir, and many more called on the Advisor during the day.The representatives of the Kashmir Fruit Growers and Dealers Association Mandi Sopore apprised the Advisor that 606 shops have been approved by the Government for various dealers there, out of which only 147 have been constructed and allotted. They requested the Advisor to direct the concerned to expedite the process of constructing the rest of the shops so that they could work in a better environment.The delegation besides, requesting to develop a road for the truck yard, which has already been allotted, also highlighted the need for sending two drinking water tankers in the mandi daily as the same does not have potable drinking water facility as of yet.
The Advisor was also asked to direct the concerned officers to initiate the process of introducing high-density apple variety in Sopore so that the farmers from the area could also avail benefit from it.The issue of spurious pesticides and fungicides was also raised during the meeting.The delegation of Dry Fruit Growers and Dealers Association Kashmir in their meeting with the Advisor appealed for allocation of land so that they could establish their own processing units in Valley. The delegation members informed the Advisor that presently the dry fruit from Kashmir gets exported via Jammu, adding the establishment of processing units would enable the growers and dealers to export their fruit from Valley directly.Baramulla Fruit Growers and Dealers Association Kashmir requested the Advisor to initiate a process for launching crop insurance and Market Intervention Scheme so that farmers suffering huge losses due to climatic reasons could be compensated.The All J&K Saffron Growers Development and Marketing Cooperative Association discussed Saffron crop-related issues with the Advisor.Besides, a delegation of Contractors Association Kupwara sought the Advisor’s intervention in releasing of payments for the work that they have already completed.Class-IV qualified employees Association Department of Floriculture, Kashmir Division delegation sought creation and re-designation of various posts of gardeners as per their present assignments.The delegation of Auqaf Islamia ZiyaratSharief (Hazarat Noor Shah Sahib Baghdadi (RA)) Waltingoo, Kund Anantnag, sought the Advisor’s intervention in issues related to the Ziyarat.J&K Pensioners Welfare Federation, Senior Citizen Civil Society raised the issues related to State pensioners in a meeting with the Advisor.The Idara Auqaf Islamia Hamdania, Tral delegation requested the Advisor to issue the directions to expedite the construction work on the ZiyaratKhanqah-e-Faiz, Tral.A deputation from Hyderpora sought the Advisor’s intervention in the construction of a park on 14 kanals of tourism land.