JAMMU, JULY 16 – Minister of State for Education, Technical Education, Culture, Tourism, Horticulture, Floriculture and Parks, Priya Sethi today said that Jammu and Kashmir has huge potential in horticulture and the government is committed to provide all possible support to fruit growers to promote fruit production in the state in a big way.
The Minister was speaking after inaugurating first of its kind Mango Show here today.
Vice Chairman, J&K State Advisory Board for Development of Kisans Daljeet Singh Chib, MLA Akhnoor Rajeev Sharma, MLA Khour Krishan Lal Bhagat, Secretary to Government, Horticulture department M H Malik were also present on the occasion.
Nearly 600 fruit growers from different districts of Jammu region participated in the show along with their fruit exhibits. Different varieties of mangoes including including Dasehri, Amarpali, Malta, Fazli, while a total of 1691 entries were entertained in the event organized by the department of Horticulture.
Addressing the fruit growers, the Minister congratulated them for their active participation in the show. She said that it is a matter of great importance that our region produces variety of mangoes which needs to be promoted. Stressing on the relation between grower and horticulture department, the Minister urged the growers to come up with their suggestions/experiences so that required improvements could be made by the department. “It is high time to link technological interventions with traditional way of fruit growing”, the Minister said.
Priya Sethi said that adequate promotion needs to be given to different schemes launched under horticulture sector so that those living in rural areas could get benefit of the same. She called for a change in the mindset of the unemployed youth towards entrepreneurship and asked them to become job providers instead of job seekers. She said that such exhibitions, besides encouraging them to adopt modern techniques, help in developing cordial relationship between the department and the stakeholder.
The Minister said that various innovative measures have been put in place to bring maximum area under the ambit of horticulture cultivation to improve the economic conditions of the farmers. Maintaining that Jammu division has huge potential for horticulture produce, the Minister advised the farmers to switchover to cash crops like developing Mango, Amla, Litchi, Guava, and strawberry orchids instead of traditional crops, adding that these crops have great demand in the market. She said Government also provides attractive incentives for the promotion of horticulture and people should come in a big way to avail these benefits.
Priya Sethi also informed the gathering that soon packaging houses would be established in all the districts which will directly help the fruit growers in terms of proper marketing and sale of their production.
While highlighting the initiatives of the government to promote mango production, Priya Sethi said that two Mango villages are being established at Akhnoor and Khour blocks and under the project an area of 100 hectare in each village will be covered in 4 years starting from 2016-17. The areas have been identified and pit designs for plantation has almost been completed, while about 5000 mango plants will be planted in first year, she added.
MLA Akhnoor while addressing the gathering thanked the Minister for organizing such show in Jammu which will help the mango growers in terms of proper marketing of their production and getting aware of various welfare and developmental schemes.
Highlighting various initiatives taken by the department of Horticulture for the benefit of fruit growers, MLA Khour said that the soil testing facility is being provided to them so that they can get the maximum benefit out of it. He also asked the officers to reach out to the fruit growers and educate them about departmental schemes.
Speaking on the occasion, the Vice Chairman, J&K State Advisory Board for Development of Kisans, D S Chib applauded the mango growers who have participated in the show with their fruit exhibits. Mangos of Jammu region is of good quality and of great taste and steps are being taken to improve the mango production, he said adding that Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna will be launched in the state soon to protect fruit growers/farmers from losses incurred due to crop failure.
D S Chib asked the officers of horticulture department to organize such shows of seasonal fruits on regular basis so that the fruit growers get the platform to interact with other fruit growers, officers of the department and get acquainted with technological interventions in the field of horticulture.
He said that both Jammu and Kashmir region are the hub of horticulture activities. He urged the fruit growers to avail the benefit of subsidy scheme for setting up of orchards.
On the occasion, stalls were setup by floriculture department, SKUAST and private companies. Farming tools, equipments were also exhibited during the show. Literature containing important information for fruit growing/farmers was also provided to the participants.
It was informed that in Jammu division, 12754 hectares of area is under Mango cultivation and the production is 23855 metric tonnes.
The Minister also distributed prizes to the participants of the Mango show. Kuldeep Raj bagged the prize of ‘Fruit of the show’ while Nitya Anand, Mohammad Ashraf and Rakesh Singh won 1st and 2nd prizes respectively.
Among others, Director Horticulture Jammu, A K Sharma, Director Floriculture Jammu, K K Sharma, Director Extension SKUAST Jammu, CHOs of all districts of Jammu division, concerned officers, fruit large number of fruit growers/farmers, representatives of Fruit/Flower grower associations were present on the occasion.