Advisor to Governor, K Skandan today convened an interactive meeting with the officers of the Horticulture Department to review the J&K’s Horticulture sector here at Civil Secretariat.
Secretary, Horticulture, Manzoor Ahmed Lone, Director, Horticulture Planning and Management, Shahnawaz Ahmed, Managing Director, JKHPMC, Shafat Sultan, Director Horticulture Jammu, RK Srangal besides other senior officers attended the meeting.
While interacting with the senior functionaries, Advisor emphasized on the need for taking reformative measures for developing Horticulture sector and exploring more possibilities of its expansion in the state.
The Advisor entrusted upon the department to roll out the mechanism for establishing more weigh bridges in terminal fruit mandies while making mandies work on scientific lines with imposition of cess for both inflow and outflow besides re-planning of traffic arrangements in these mandies. He further asked them to make headways towards establishing E-Auction system and strengthening the infrastructure of fruit mandies.
The Advisor put emphasis on improving quality and production of Horticulture crops to make the sector more vibrant besides increasing the income of farmers.
He further asked the concerned to bring all the stakeholders on board for making the functioning of the department more result oriented. He further instructed them to draft a feedback report of stakeholders.
The Advisor sought the details on the status of fruit mandies besides various undergoing and proposed Horticulture projects. He asked the department to conduct a detailed study of Sopore mandi as case study and figure out number of orchids in the area and extent of contract farming. He was of the opinion that the department shall engage professional consultants for the same.
At the outset, Secretary Horticulture briefed the Advisor about the organizational setup, responsibilities and duties assigned to the officers. He apprised the Advisor that the horticulture industry has the capacity of much larger produce than what it is currently producing. Horticulture sector contributes a large chunk in the State’s economy besides providing direct and indirect employment to large number of people who earn their livelihood from this sector, he said, adding that, various developmental schemes have been taken by the Department under State Sector and Central Sector for promotion of this sector and give further boost to it.
Discussion on major schemes, promotional activities, availability of land with horticulture for nurseries density-wise plantation, pre-harvest management, nursery development, registration of traders was also held.
Underlining the importance of welfare of farmers, the Advisor asked the department to develop a system to understand the phenomenon of – which farmer is selling what product to which trader at what amount so that necessary steps can be taken to redress their concern issues.
The Advisor stressed on creating awareness among the farmers about best techniques and marketing aspects to achieve tangible results on ground.
The officers also apprised the Advisor about various departmental issues.