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Priya Sethi reviews horticulture sector Calls to work on high yielding varieties, speeding up of soil testing

Minster of State for Education, Technical Education, Tourism, Culture, Horticulture, Floriculture and Parks, Priya Sethi, today chaired a high level meeting to review the overall functioning of the Horticulture department.

The Minister took a comprehensive review of the physical and financial achievements registered by the department during the current session. She also sought detailed information about the progress and achievements of all the districts of Kashmir division.

 The Minister stressed on brand building and better marketing of horticulture produce of the state “Nature has bestowed the state with good climatic conditions for quality horticulture produce and the department needs to work towards improving marketing facilities besides building a strong brand and motivating young generation of the state to become part of the horticulture sector,” the Minster said.

The Minister called upon officers of the department to work on high yielding varieties. She said that the department has network of nurseries and stressed on the upgradation of these nurseries to supply better quality high yielding plants to the horticulturists.

The Minister stressed for improving the production of apple Ambri variety and said that the variety is the ingenious breed of our State that holds special value among fruit growers and horticulturists across world. She said steps should be taken to improve the scale of its production by making the horticulturists aware about the market the fruit holds across globe.

The Minister said that multi pronged approach needs to be adopted for ensuring better yield and minimizing post harvest losses and stressed that in order to improve the yield and cut losses the department should work together with farmers for promoting use of new technologies and better farming practices.

Seeking detail about the identification of beneficiaries under Prime Ministers Development Package for horticulture area expansion and restoration of damaged area, the Minster was informed that the work is under progress.

The Minster said that the government is providing liberal funding for horticulture and the department should efficiently utilize the funds so that investment in horticulture sector becomes a viable option for farmers of the state.

The Minster also sought information about the progress of development works at various Mandies in and across the state and establishment of Kisan Ghar and cold store at Kolkata.

 The Minster was informed that the development work at Mandies is under progress and Kisan Ghar and cold storage facility have been made operational at Kolkata as well as at Delhi.

Seeking details about the status of Mobile Soil Health Cards in Kashmir Division the directed the concerned to speed up the process of testing of soil samples through Mobile Soil Testing Lab and static laboratory at the earnest.

Secretary, Horticulture Department, Mohammad Hussian Malik, Director Horticulture Kashmir Rafiq Ahmad, Director Horticulture (P&M) Showkat Ahmad Zargar, Managing Director JKHPMC, Chief Horticulture Officers, District Horticulture Officers and other District Officers of the department attended the meeting.