The Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Kishtwar today introduced portable solar dryers for farmers for drying the farm produce. Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Devansh Yadav, in presence of Additional District Development Commissioner (ADDC), Sham Lal, BDC Chairman, Suresh Sharma, Chief Agriculture Officer, Amjad Hussain Malik distributed the Solar Dryers among 40 farmers including the Saffron growers on a fifty percent subsidy provided under the Capex budget.
Besides, Local PRIs, Saffron Development Officer Amarjeet Singh Sen, District level SMSs, SDAO Paddar Sahil Gandotra and Agriculture Extension Officers were also present on the occasion. The CAO apprised that the Solar Dryers costing Rs15000 in the market, were given to the farmers on 50% subsidy.
These Solar Dryers can dry any vegetable, fruit or spices under sunlight unaffected by the rain and dust and without decolouring the dried product, he added. To begin with, small portable Dryers of only 3 to 5Kg capacity were distributed and if successful, bigger Dryers will also be provided to farmers, the Chief Agriculture Officer said.
Speaking on the occasion, the DC said that the products dried in this way will enhance the market value of the farm products thereby enhancing the income of farmers particularly saffron growers of Kishtwar.
Terming the Saffron as the Precious Resource of the district, DC said that these Dryers will be mainly used for drying Saffron by the farmers on a commercial scale. Meanwhile, the DC released a booklet on "Practical Manual on Good Practices for Saffron Production in Kishtwar."
He said the information ion the booklet will help the farmers and saffron growers to acquaint themselves about best saffron cultivation techniques.