Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Kewal Krishan Sharma, today said that steps are afoot for ensuring that the Horticulture and related activities get a fillip by way of various government schemes and interventions so that the quantum of produce gets increased contributing to the economy of Jammu and Kashmir.He was speaking at a meeting convened to review Apple High density Programme and other schemes which was attended Director Horticulture Kashmir, Aijaz Bhat, Members of PHD Chamber of Commerce including Showkat Chowdhary, Bilal Kawoosa and Association of fruit growers of Kashmir led by GM Dar and Farooq Rather .Advisor directed the officers to ensure that the scheme of high-density plantation meant to increase the apple production is implemented in a manner so that the maximum horticulturists get benefited from it. He said that a mechanism should also be formulated so as to make it broad based by actively involving the stakeholders and also incorporating their views and suggestions as well.Advisor stressed to cover all the feasible areas under High Density Programme including Jammu province, which have a high potential for development of horticulture especially Apple. He said that we have to ensure successful implementation of the scheme so that all areas of Jammu and Kashmir are covered having potential of producing Apples.
The meeting was told that 240 hectare of land has been brought under the High-Density Programme and all steps are being initiated to remove bottlenecks, if any, in the scheme so that the farmers are fully benefited by this innovative programme. It was also informed that imported elite clonal root stock has been brought from Netherlands to achieve self-sufficiency in plant production so that dependence on import is minimized and presently 10.90 lakh root stock is available with the Department for multiplication/distribution purpose to Horticulturists.The deputations raised several issues like establishment of laboratories for testing of pesticides, Insecticides and Fungicides, Grant of Subsidy directly to Orchardists through Horticulture department on Rejuvenation, Single window system for establishment of Mini CA Stores, introduction of Market Intervention Scheme and bringing culled fruits within the scheme, taking measures for tackling Scab outbreak in orchards in valley, making Mughal Road all weather and crop insurance scheme.Advisor assured the deputationists that the issues raised by them would be looked into for early redressal.Various other issues related to horticulture were also discussed in the meeting.