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Priya Sethi reviews provincial progress of horticulture department

Minister of State for Education, Technical Education, Tourism, Culture, Horticulture, Floriculture and Parks Priya Sethi chaired a high level provincial review meeting of the Horticulture department, here today. She took a comprehensive review of the physical and financial achievements registered by the department.
Stressing on brand building and better marketing of horticulture produce of the state, the Minister said that 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 of the state’s quality products.
“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,” she stressed.
Secretary, Horticulture M.H. Malik, Director, Horticulture, Jammu A.K. Sharma, Professor & Head of division of fruit science Dr. V. K. Wali, Deputy Director Horticulture, Deputy Director Planning, Chief Horticulture Officers, District Horticulture Officers, District SMS and other District Officers of the department attended the meeting.
Calling upon officers of the department to work on high yielding varieties, Priya said that the department has network of nurseries and stress should be laid to develop and supply better quality high yielding plants to the horticulturists. She said multi pronged approach needs to be taken for ensuring better yield and minimizing post harvest losses.
She said that the union government is providing liberal funding for horticulture and the department should efficiently utilize the funds so that investment in horticulture sector should become a viable option for farmers as well as entrepreneurs of the state. She asked Scientist from SKUAST to give support to the department for multiplication of grafted plants of walnut and Pecanut.
The Secretary emphasized upon the officers to promote indigenous fruits like Jack fruit besides promoting Kiwi cultivation in other districts apart from Ramban. He also asked the Director to frame a calendar for collection and testing of soil samples through newly acquired Mobile Soil Testing Lab and make newly static laboratory functional as early as possible.
The Director presented a detailed review of the resume of the developmental activities of the department for the year 2015-16 comprising of area expansion of 1015 Ha, 15320 Sq.m under protected cultivation consisting of 283 poly green houses, establishment of 264 vermicompost units, creation of 29 water sources besides other activities under state and centrally sponsored schemes implemented by the department in fruit growers field.