SRINAGAR, OCTOBER 28: The Minister for Public Works and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr. Abdul Rehman Veeri, Friday, said that the State government is utilizing all-out efforts to improve the socio-economic conditions of the people of the State by launching various developmental programmes with the Rs. 500 crore package for development of horticulture sector being among such programmes under taken by the present dispensation to uplift the socio-economic conditions of the people.
While expressing his gratitude for the Union Government cabinet decision for approval of Rs. 500 crore special package for rejuvenation of horticulture sector of the State, Mr. Veeri said that this package will be a game-changer to boost and revive horticulture industry, which is a backbone and among the most viable sectors of the State economy.
The Minister said that the government led by the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, is working hard to boost the horticulture industry and has introduced innovative mechanism and scientific approaches to yield enhanced production besides meet the market demand.
While giving details, the Minister said that the Rs. 500 crore special package would be spent on restoration of damaged horticulture areas and its development in the State. The package comes as a part of the Prime Minister’s Special Package, including one-time relaxation of cost norms to implement the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), he added. He said the import of special varieties of plants for better survival, early flowering and enhanced fruit planting material and four wire trellis system will result in increase of productivity by three-four times.
Mr. Veeri said 329 hectares of the area shall be developed with high density plantation and 3,900 hectares of damaged orchard area will be developed with imported plants besides 20 nurseries that would be developed and 60 nurseries that would be upgraded under the package. He said Rs. 23 crore have been earmarked for the mechanization process while Rs 35 crore shall be spent on protected cultivation, development of water resources and vermicompost. He further said that the provision for setting up of CA stores or cold storages and food processing units have been kept under the package besides development of 3 mega fruit mandies and restoration of 2 fruit mandies is part of the package to revive the horticulture industry in the State.
The Minister said high and medium density apple plantations would generate round-the-year employment in the sector besides resulting in employment in allied sectors such as grading or packing units, cold storage units and transportation sector.
Secretary Horticulture, Mr. Mohammad Hussain Malik was also present on the occasion.