The Deputy Commissioner (DC) Anantnag, Dr Basharat Qayoom today chaired a meeting of the District Level Monitoring Committee for CSS FPOs to review the progress of existing FPOs and finalize the commodities for new upcoming FPOs.
Apprising the chair of the progress since the last DLMC, DDM Nabard who is also the member secretary of the monitoring committee, said that while 4 FPOs are presently operating in the district, FPOs are to be approved in 4 new blocks.
He said that CBBOs have been engaged for all the blocks of the district.Regarding the Mushkbudji FPO under NABARD direct PODF assistance, it was put forth that for better branding and targeting, it is imperative that a rice mill be established in the district.
The DC directed Chief Agriculture Officer to finalized the location for establishing the mill after discussion with concerned stakeholders and submit a DPR.Reviewing the physical and financial progress of Breng and Shahabad Honey FPOs, the chair was apprised that both FPOs are producing sufficient marketeable surplus and are already generating revenue.
The DC stressed on market linkages and marketing of the produce so that the farmers can fetch good prices. He directed the Chief Agriculture Officer to ensure that technical guidance is provided to the FPOs to increase productivity particularly those of exotic vegetables so that the FPO can appeal to a niche market and fetch better prices.
The DC directed the CBBOs for Breng Vegetables and Shahabad honey to submit a detailed proposal within a week so that the products can be put to sale on online platforms.Talking about the high demand of combed honey in International markets, Dr Basharat said that necessary certifications must be obtained by the FPOs so that they can export their produce.
Dr Basharat also reviewed the progress of Trout FPO which has been named Kashmir Glacier Trouts. He said that trout is the notified product for the district under ODOP and as such there is ample scope for creating a micro processing framework in the district.
He directed the Deputy Director Fisheries to expedite the registration of the FPO.On the suggestions made by Chief Animal Husbandry Officer regarding surplus milk production in the district, the DC directed DDM Nabard to identify dairy farmers for a milk FPO in consultation with CAHO.
He said that given the high demand of milk and dairy products, such an FPO will help enable the dairy farmers to venture into processing and create employment opportunities for the youth.Regarding the identification of commodities in NCDC approved blocks of Verinag, Bijbehara and Qazigund and SKUAST approved blocks of Shangus and Achabal, the DC took a strong note of the lack of progress in identifying commodities.
He directed DDM NABARD, SKUAST and NCDC to submit detailed proposals for selection of commodities in consultation with CHO.The meeting was attended by ADDC, JD Planning, CAO, CHO, CAHO, DR Cooperatives, AMO HPMC, DD Fisheries, DDM NABARD, Project Coordinator KVK Anantnag, District Programme Manager, NRLM, representatives from Biocert, IGSSS, NCDC and SFAC and CEOs and representatives of FPOs.