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Commercial floriculture holds huge potential in J&K: Khurshid Ahmed Ganai

Stresses upon ‘lab to farm linkage’, setting up of two centres of excellence in the State

5 Dariya News

5 Dariya News

5 Dariya News

Srinagar , 03 Oct 2019

Advisor to the Governor, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, Thursday urged the Floriculture Department to work for removal of barriers in upscaling commercial floriculture in the  State.He described as pivotal the role of agricultural universities in ‘lab to farm linkage’ to navigate technical knowhow for enhancing the capacity building of flower  growers so that they take up farming on commercial basis. The Advisor said this while chairing a meeting to encourage commercial floriculture in the State. VC SKUAST  (K), Prof. Nazir Ahmad, VC SKUAST (J), Mr. K. S. Rissam, Secretary Floriculture, Sheikh Fayaz Ahmad, Director Floriculture, Jammu, Ms. Babila Rakwal and Director  Floriculture, Kashmir, Mr. Abdul Hafeez Masoodi, attended the meeting.Describing floriculture as an environment-friendly and economically-viable activity, Ganai, who is  in-charge of the Floriculture Department, said the Government is proposing to set up centres of excellence for floriculture, one each in Jammu and Kashmir division, to  train and guide growers in floriculture, production of bulbs and cut flowers, perfumery and propagation of aromatic and medicinal plants. “We have great scope in  expansion of floriculture activities and need to take a cue from the success of Tulip festival in Cheshma Shahi and what other states in the country have done in  promoting commercial floriculture in their states,” he added.Foreseeing great scope for expansion in production of flowers, the Advisor said J&K has the ideal agro- climatic conditions for cultivation of flowers. He also underlined the importance of bringing more land under commercial cultivation to produce flowers in bigger volumes  and strengthening of marketing channels to help growers to sustain in high-demand global industry. “We also need to work very hard on post-harvest management by  adopting benchmark techniques,” he said while highlighting the giant strides made by other states, particularly Karnataka and certain European countries like Netherlands  in scaling up commercial floriculture.

The Advisor also asked SKUAST (K) and SKUAST (J) to prepare a joint concept paper which shall provide a roadmap for commercial floriculture and cultivation of  aromatic and medicinal plants. He also suggested undertaking exposure visits to Taligaon, Pune and Raipur, Chattisgarh to import best practices in commercial  floriculture.The Advisor also said that the Government will provide Rs.30 lakh each to the two agricultural universities for training and capacity building of floriculture  farmers. He also asked Secretary Floriculture to fill up all the vacant posts of Assistant Floriculture Officers and bring amendment in recruitment rules to bring in  technically-trained persons in the department. The VCs of SKUAST Kashmir and Jammu highlighted the need to identify potential flower species before kick-starting  commercial floriculture in the State. Secretary Floriculture briefed the Advisor about the advantages of cluster farming on commercial scale. Director Floriculture  (Jammu) informed the meeting about steps taken by the Department in commercial floriculture in places like Marh, Akhnoor, RS Pura, Kishtwar and Bhaderwah, where a  large number of growers have evinced keen interest in taking up farming of floriculture on commercial basis.In a power-point presentation, Director Floriculture, Kashmir,  gave a brief insight into steps taken by the department in popularizing commercial floriculture. He said about 70 hectares of land in Kashmir division was under cultivation  of aromatic and medicinal plants like rosemary and lavender oil, which holds sway in international market. Most of these commercial nurseries exist in south and central  Kashmir in the districts of Kulgam, Anantnag and Pulwama, he added. 

 

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