Horticulture Cluster Development (HCD) awareness programme was today organised at DIET Shopian by the Department of Horticulture Shopian and JKHPMC.District Development Commissioner (DDC) Shopian, Sachin Kumar Vaishya was the Chief Guest at the event.
Speaking on the occasion, the DDC said that the programme will address all major issues related to the horticulture sector in the district including pre-production, production, post-harvest management, logistics, marketing and branding.The programme, he said is designed to leverage geographical specialisation and promote integrated and market-led development of horticulture clusters.
He further said that district Shopian known as Apple Town, now has been declared as Apple Cluster under the scheme of MOA&FW emphasizing upon farmers of the district to come forward and use latest technologies and best practices to grow high variety and high density crops. This he said will lead to better production and profits among the farmers of the district.
Stating that 'doubling farmers’ income is one of the biggest priorities of the Government and said that CDP will benefit all farmers and related stakeholders of the value chain. With this programme, the Government aims to improve exports of the targeted crops in the district.
Managing Director, JKHPMC, Shafaat Sultan said that Shopian has been identified as ' Apple cluster ' in UT of J&K and JKHPMC has been designated as Cluster Development agency for implementation of the Cluster Development Programme in the Apple Cluster-District Shopian. He said that in Shopian an area of 26237 Ha of land is under Horticulture Plantation, out of which 21707 Ha of land is under Apple crop.
The Cluster Development Programme will not only help in achieving economies of scale but also create cluster-specific brands to entrench them into national and global value chains bringing higher remuneration to the farmers, he added.Joint Director, Agriculture; CAO Shopian; CHO Shopian; Lead District Manager; representatives of Horticulture and marketing associations and KVK, Cluster Manager, besides farmers including progressive farmers of the district were present at the awareness camp.