Srinagar: Principal Secretary, Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare and Horticulture departments, Navin Kumar Choudhary on Tuesday flagged off vans carrying Cherry produce of various sellers of Kashmir valley which will be subsequently airlifted to Delhi and Mumbai from Srinagar airport.
Director Horticulture, Aijaz Ahmad Bhat; senior officers of NAFED, officers of Horticulture department, prospective sellers and other concerned officials of the department were also present during the flagging off ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion, the Principal Secretary said that it is the historic event for the horticulture sector of J&K and is a path breaking start for the marketing of perishable fruits and organic vegetables of J&K. He added that today almost five tons of perishable fruit produce will be airlifted to different cities like Mumbai and Delhi which will reach these destinations within hours.
Navin Choudhary further said that this significant step will empower the fruit growers of Jammu and Kashmir and will increase their income as well as boost the rural economy. He added that it will also address the transportation hiccups for the horticulture produce especially the highly perishable items like Cherry, Plum, Apricots etc.
Speaking on the occasion, Director Horticulture, Aijaz Ahmad Bhat said that under this scheme the Department will facilitate all the prospective sellers of cherry and other perishable fruit produce and will provide them suitable platform for selling their produce. He added that the sellers can contact their district horticulture offices and avail the benefits of this unique scheme.
The Jammu and Kashmir Horticulture Department had recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with airline carrier Go-Airlines for transportation of perishable horticulture and agricultural produce to various destinations across the country.
Under this MoU, the airline will charge Rs. 24, Rs. 34, Rs. 47, Rs. 48 and Rs.50 for transportation of perishable fruit produce from Jammu and Srinagar to Delhi, Mumbai/Pune, Chennai, Kolkata and Bengaluru respectively.
Meanwhile, Navin Kumar Choudhary also inaugurated Advanced Centre for Horticulture Development at Rajbagh here.
Speaking during the inauguration ceremony, the Principal Secretary said that this Centre is the back bone of Horticulture Department, where the high yielding, precious and valuable exotic plant material and root-stocks imported from foreign countries are being propagated on the modern scientific lines for economic upliftment of the farmers and fruit producers of J&K to boost their economy.
Importantly, the centre will boost the Production of High-density clonal rootstocks, Production of quality plant material on Clonal rootstocks, Management of water conservation through different methods viz. Plastic- culture, Acclimatization and adoption of various kinds of exotic fruit cultivars, clonal stocks of Kiwi plants, imparting training to Basic Horticulture workers/ Farmers/interested Orchardists, etc.