Enhancing agriculture, horticulture productivity Govt’s priority: Hanjura

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 24: Stating that the Government is focused on giving a fillip to the Agriculture and allied sectors, the Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura today said several Centrally and State sector schemes have been introduced to infuse vibrancy in the agriculture, horticulture, floriculture and sericulture sectors.
Replying to the discussion on demand of Grants for Agriculture, Sericulture, Horticulture and Floriculture departments, Hanjura said that “several schemes including  Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) and Climate Change for sustainable Agriculture in kandi areas of Budgam and Jammu under National Adaptation Fund, National Mission on Agriculture Extension and Technology, National Food Security Mission (NFSM), Integrated Scheme for Development of Sericulture Industry (ISDSI) and Catalytic Development Programme for Sericulture and other have been introduced to improve the lot of farming community.”
The Minister said the traditional Basmati rice of R S Pura, Jammu and Rajmash of Bhaderwah, Kishtwar, Bani and other temperate areas are gaining economic significance through various departmental interventions in quality improvement, productivity enhancement, marketing support etc.
Enumerating various initiatives taken by the Government for boosting local agriculture produce, the Minister said the development of Basmati village at R. S. Pura and Suchetgarh area, development of Saffron Village at Samboora, Saffron Heritage Centre in Pulwama, Virus Free Potato Seed Village at Kandajan Budgam, Apiculture Cluster at District Kupwara and intensive Vegetable Development Clusters in Srinagar, Pulwama, Budgam and Anantnag districts, organic Vegetable Clusters at Leh and Kargil have been undertaken.
Strengthening of Law Enforcement Agency to eradicate the problems of duplicate and substandard fertilizers and other inputs used by the farmers and growers, establishment of training centre for skill development of farmers and Ex-situ gene bank and AGRO Industries Development Corporation to make this Corporation a profitable venture are the other steps taken by the department to improve the efficiency and productivity, he maintained.
“Saffron Mission has been launched for rejuvenation of Saffron cultivation in the State as the productivity per hectare had started declining. But during the course of Saffron Mission at Mid-term, the production per hectare has witnessed good increase and is expected to increase further this year after installing sprinkler irrigation at 60 places.
To realize the vision of former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to make the “Kashmir valley the fruit bowl of the world,” Hanjura said that the Government is focussed is developing the horticulture sector by way of rejuvenation, High Density Plantation and also to provide marketing infrastructure to the growers, farmers and traders within and outside the State.
Agriculture Minister said that mission of the department is to improve the overall environment and beautification of the open spaces, diversification in agriculture sector, increase in acreage under flower crops area and ensuring profitability for the small and marginal farmers in floriculture business. Under Floriculture, Agriculture Minister said that up gradation of tourist amenities and face lifting of various gardens of floriculture Department is under way. He said the Floriculture department has earned revenue of Rs 648.38 lakh during 2015-16 from outsourcing of gardens and parks and parks and sale of plant material from nurseries.
The Minister further said that the Project Report for one mega recreational Park at Bhour Camp, Jammu at an estimated cost of Rs 37.01 crore has been prepared for which 563 kanals of land is available with the department.
Hanjura said that the Detailed Project Reports for Extension of Bagh-e-Bahu Jammu and Development of Jakhani Park Udhampur at an estimated cost of Rs 15.21 crore and Rs 2.89 crore respectively prepared. He said up gradation of Tulip Garden Srinagar by adding more varieties of tulips is under progress and around 50000 Tulip bulbs of different varieties have been planted in Sanasar to check the potential of growing tulips in the area.
Later, the House passed the grants of Agriculture Production Department, for the year 2017-18, which were moved by the Minister, amounting to Rs 201611.67 Lakh with voice vote.