Secretary Agriculture Production Department/Horticulture Manzoor Ahmad Lone today inspected the Suchetgarh Organic Basmati Rice Cluster (SOBRC) during his field visit to the border area.Mr. Lone also interacted with the farmers and basmati growers and distributed Mini-Rice Shellers among them.The farmers of the Basmati Cluster were provided the Shellers on 80% subsidy.Interacting with the farmers, Mr Lone said that SOBRC is in execution for last three years in the area and the department is providing all sort of benefits including improvised seeds, latest machinery, Bio-fertilizers, Bio-pesticides and establishment of Vermi-composting Units etc on subsidized costs to the farmers. He said that formation of FPOs, Brand Popularization and proper marketing of the organic produce of the Basmati are the main aims of the intensified efforts of the department under the programme. He said that the use of Mini Rice Shellers will help the Growers to promote their Brand Organic Basmati through direct marketing and get higher returns with the elimination of middlemen. Mr. Lone said that R.S. Pura Basmati is world famous for its aroma should be grown without using chemicals or inorganic fertilizers or pesticides.
Director Agriculture, Jammu, H. K. Razdan, who accompanied the Secretary, apprised that 668 hactare have been covered under Suchetgarh Organic Basmati Rice Cluster (SOBRC) involving 700 growers of villages Suchetgarh, Krotona Khurd and Vidipur Jattan located on the Indo-Pak Border. Mr Razdan said that the fixation of MSP, farmers training camps, exposure visits besides provision of quality inputs are being undertaken in the cluster.
Meanwhile, Choudhary Dev Raj President RS Pura Basmati Growers association raised various issues and sought complete ban on conversion of agriculture land for the commercial and construction purposes to save the Basmati Growing Areas.Secretary Kisan Board Abdul Hamid Wani, Joint Director Agriculture (Extension) Bulesh Kumar Zutshi, Chief Agriculture Officer Jammu Narender Mishra, ASCO (i&P) A. H. Salaria, SDAO R. S. Pura Roshan Lal Bhagat and other officers of the agriculture and JK Agro-Industries Corporation also accompanied during the visit of Secretary APD.Others who attended the programme include Member Kisan Board S. Tejinder Singh, Sarpanch Suchetgarh Panchayat, Des Raj, Sarpanch Fatehpur Brahmna Panchayat, Sakshi Choudhary, Ex-Sarpanch Swarn Lal, Choudhary Krishan Lal besides large number of progressive farmers and Basmati Growers of the area.