Omar seeks assistance from Centre for rejuvenating orchards

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Aug 24: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today sought assistance from Union Agriculture Ministry for rejuvenating the orchards in the state to increase the fruit production.
Omar raised the issue with Union Agriculture Minister R M Singh, who called on the Chief Minister here, an official spokesman said.
He said the Union Minister was informed that apple trees planted in more than 40,000 hectares and almond trees in 5,000 hectares have become senile and over-aged, and require rejuvenation and re-plantation.
An amount of Rs 20 crore will be required for bringing 1,000 hectare per year under rejuvenation programme which will increase the productivity from present 1.5 to 2 tonnes to five tonnes to 11 tonnes per hectare per year.
Omar and Singh discussed various other matters relating to the development of agriculture in the State.
“The focus in the meeting was on the establishment of Horticulture University for the state where there is more than 3.55 lakh hectares under orchards with an annual production of 21 lakh tonnes of fruit,” the spokesman said.
The State Government also sought support for procurement of ready-to-use soil testing labs which can be put to use immediately.

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