“Surankot and Mandi areas in district Poonch are to be taken up for high density apple plantation during the current year by the Horticulture department”, this was informed by the Director Horticulture Jammu during an interaction programme held with the fruit growers at Surankot.MLA Surankot Mr Akram Choudhary presided over the meet which was attended by a large number of fruit growers from Surankot, Potha, Dhandi-dhara, Ghunthal, Sangla, Marhot, Buffliaz and Lassana zone besides panchs and sarpanchs Director Horticulture Jammu A.K Sharma informed that the department has facilitated in establishing high density plantation of Apple procured from CITH Srinagar at Mirzamore in Surankot during last year on an area of one Ha with integrated micro-irrigation system.He impressed upon the growers to adopt high density plantation raised on malling series root stock of Apple with integrated micro-irrigation system so as to have returns from fourth year onwards.
Sharma also asked the field staff to shape the orchard as a showcase so that other beneficiaries come forward to establish more such high density orchards in these areas for which an attractive incentive of Rs. 0.75 lac per Ha. is being provided by the department. Besides this, a subsidy amount of Rs. 0.50 lacs for vermicompost unit and 0.90 lac for creation of water source in the shape of shallow well, Dugwell and water harvesting tank is also provided by the department. He further added that state Govt has embarked a ambitious plan for raising high density plantation in Apple growing areas in the state. He called upon the growers to utilize cow dung including farmwaste for producing good quality vermicompost to enrich the soil with all nutrients.
MLA Surankot asked the fruit growers to come forward to avail the incentives for holistic development of Horticulture in the area to give boost to their economic status. He asked the field functionaries of the department to organize such camps regularly to equip them with latest technologies. He assured the fruit growers that the issue for Apni Mandi for Surankot shall be taken up with the Government.Chief Horticulture Officer, R.K Koul , District Horticulture Officer Mohd. Iqbal Bhatti, Horticulture Development Officers and other officials of the department were also present.
The participating farmers demanded power tillers, water harvesting tanks and vermibeds and on spot instructions were issued to the field staff to register their demands. Director Horticulture Jammu also visited the Apple and walnut orchards at Potha, Jaranwali, Dandi Dhara at Surankot, Fazlabad in Buffliaz and Chella Dhangri, in Mandi Rajpura area. On way, the fruit growers at Sathra also putforth their demand for establishment of Apni Mandi as their produce of Stone fruit such as Apricot and Plum being surplus is wasted in absence of proper marketing facilities.Earlier Director Horticulture Jammu while on way to Surankot inspected some private newly established orchards of Citrus including Kinnow, Sangtra and lemon at Kangri and Nowshera in Rajouri. He was accompanied by the Chief Horticulture Officer Rajouri Sh. Yogesh Kumar Kesar , District Horticulture officer Sh. Iqbal Malik and Horticulture Development Officers wherein on spot registration to establish vermibeds and creation of water source in these areas was done.