A mega awareness/ training camp was today organized at Utimulla, Pulwama by the Department of Horticulture under the “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” campaign.Director General (DG) Horticulture, Kashmir, Ajaz Ahmad Bhat was the Chief Guest at the function.In his address, the DG elaborated in detail about the various central and UT sponsored schemes offered by the department and highlighted the various components of these schemes and advised the farmers to avail the benefits under these schemes.He informed that the department is offering assistance on establishment of grading/ packaging lines, mini CA Stores, low-cost processing units and walnut de-hulling units etc. and advised the farmers to take the benefits under these initiatives.He further informed that to cater the growing demand for HD exotic plants in the valley UT Govt. has launched the ‘High-Density Plantation Nurseries Scheme’ and advised farmers to establish nurseries under the said scheme for which the department will provide technical and financial help.
Regarding the modified High-Density Plantation Scheme, the DG said that a targeted area of 5500 hectares will be covered in the UT and encouraged the farmers of the area, particularly marginal and small farmers to come forward and take the advantage of the Scheme.He further elaborated that besides Apple other fruit crops like Cherry, Pear, Plum, Walnut and Almond etc. can be planted and a minimum one and maximum 20 kanals of land will be covered per beneficiary.Besides Chief Horticulture Officer, Pulwama the camp was attended District Lead Bank Manager, representatives of line departments and different banks, and members of PRIs while following COVID SOPs.Furthermore, on the instruction of DG, a similar function was held at Dak Bungalow Tangdhar district Kupwara which was attended by Block Development Chairperson Tangdhar, DDC member Karnah, SDM Karnah and a good number of farmers.During the camp the participants were appraied about the different schemes of the department.At the end of the function fruit plants like Lemon, Orange, Fig, Pomegranate, walnut etc. were distributed among the tribal and other farmers of the Karnah valley.