JAMMU, Apr 26: Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Hassan Mir, today stressed upon the Basmati growers of Jammu to cultivate traditional and best aroma variety Basmati rice as it was obligatory to stay in the global export market.
Addressing farmers and departmental functionaries, after inaugurating a one- day workshop on Refinement, Production and Export Orientation of traditional Basmati Rice of Jammu, Mr Mir said that Government was making every effort to facilitate export of Basmati Rice to fetch good returns to the growers of the state.
The workshop was organized by Directorate of Agriculture, Jammu in technical collaboration with the Basmati Export Development Council New Delhi at Jammu Club this morning.
More than 200 Basmati growers from Jammu, Kathua and Samba districts, besides experts and scientists representing APEDA, AIREA, BEDF, IARI Research Centre, NOCF, SKUAST-Jammu, as also officers of the Agriculture Department and other stake holders attended the workshop.
The Minister said that there was a growing awareness and demand for Basmati in the national and international market and the Government was making all out efforts to increase its profitability as a cash crop by facilitating its exports. He said that the cultivation of traditional Basmati rice needs to be promoted as it is highly aromatic and has great export potential. He disclosed that the farmers can harvest rich dividends and the farming can become sustainable by growing Basmati on commercial, scientific and organized lines.
Earlier, Director Agriculture, Jammu Ajay Khajuria, in his welcome, address, stressed the need for coordinated efforts for refinement, production and export orientation of basmati in production, post harvest management and marketing with local farmers, experts and scientists from various national level agencies to identify and resolve the bottle-necks for providing deeper insight into the prospects of basmati Rice promotion in J&K.
Dev Raj Choudhary, President R. S Pura Basmati Growers Association, highlighted the problems that required to be considered and addressed by the Government.
Senior Scientist and Incharge BEDF, Dr. Ritesh Sharma, gave detailed account of support that can be provided by APEDA and BEDF to help export of Basmati rice and recommend various steps that can be taken for purification of indigenous Basmati rice in R.S. Pura and surrounding areas in collaboration with other concerned departments/ agencies under various state and centrally sponsored schemes.