Develop drought resistant seeds: Governor to Farm Universities

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Apr 10: Governor N.N. Vohra, Chancellor of the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir (SKUAST-K), chaired the 33rd Council meeting of SKUAST-K, at the Raj Bhavan.
Ghulam Nabi Lone, Minister for Agriculture, Syed Basharat Ahmad  Bukhari, Minister for Horticulture and Abdul Ghani Kohli, Minister for Animal, Sheep Husbandry & Fisheries participated in the meeting.
Chancellor released three recent publications of the University: “Cultivation of Poplars in Kashmir”, “Experimental Agrometerology: A Practical Manual”, and “Apple Production & Value Chain Analysis”.
In view of the adoption of high density apple orchards in the Valley which will increase the apple production by 5 times of the present yield, Chancellor advised Minister for Horticulture to evolve at least a medium term logistical plan for the grading, storage, packaging, marketing and transportation of the enormously increased  horticultural produce.
Bukhari informed Chancellor that budgetary support has been enhanced for setting up Controlled Atmosphere Stores and providing refrigerated vans and 5 new Horticulture Nurseries are proposed to be established in the current financial year.
Chancellor advised VCs of both the State Farm Universities to develop varieties of seeds which are drought resistant and also urged the Ministers of speedily changing climatic patterns, for which seeds shall need to be prepared to change the existing cropping pattern and sow alternate crops. He also stressed the importance of mapping the entire Kashmir valley to identify and earmark areas where particular crops and fruit orchards could be propagated.
Chancellor urged Horticulture Minister to put in place an effective quarantine and monitoring mechanism to check the quality of plant materials being imported in to the State so that only high quality disease free plants are provided to the farmers.
Earlier, Vice Chancellor Dr. Nazeer Ahmed made a detailed presentation on the various activities of his University. Among those who attended the meeting were Umang Narula, Principal Secretary to the Governor; Navin Kumar Choudhary, Principal Secretary Finance; Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary Planning; Dr. Pradeep Kumar Sharma, Vice Chancellor, SKUAST-Jammu;   Manzoor Ahmad Lone, Secretary Horticulture; Showket Ahmad Beigh, Secretary Agriculture; and Prof. M.H. Wani, Registrar, SKUAST- Kashmir.


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