Stresses for promoting vegetable sector, agricultural entrepreneurship
Hi-Tech and precision farming methods are being encouraged under multiple strategies to promote entrepreneurship in agriculture and to cover the maximum area under vegetable cultivation in Kashmir valley.
This was stated by Principal Secretary, Agriculture Production Department, Navin Kumar Choudhary while inaugurating the newly constructed Hi-tech Poly Houses at Kitchen Garden and Lavender Oil Extraction Plant at Lal Mandi here.
Principal Secretary said that the Agriculture department has undertaken a Valley-wide installation of the greenhouse technology for protected cultivation of vegetable seedlings so as to enhance its production for meeting out the demands in the local market.
These Hi-tech Poly houses with a cost of Rs 10 lakh has been installed under Centrally Sponsored Scheme Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yogna (RKVY) with latest features like humidity control, fogger system, temperature controller, and heating system for harsh winters.
Interacting with the officers, Navin Choudhary said that the Agriculture department is in mission mode to promote the vegetable sector of Valley and aims at providing more and more vegetable seedlings to the growers for achieving self-sufficiency in vegetable cultivation.
Navin said by erecting these hi-tech poly greenhouses, the department will be able to provide three times more seedlings of hybrid, local as well as exotic vegetables so that the socio economic conditions of farmers and growers are uplifted.
Principal Secretary said that the vegetable cultivation can be adopted for commercial purpose as it has a good potential of employment generation and unemployed youth of Kashmir with the help of modern technologies and suitable agro-climatic condition for vegetable cultivation can take this sector to new heights.
Principal Secretary also inspected all the sections of hi-tech poly greenhouse wherein Incharge seed production officer gave a detailed presentation of operation and working of poly house.
On the occasion, Director Agriculture Kashmir, Altaf Aijaz Andrabi informed that the kitchen Garden the scheme is upgraded to register maximum number of growers to undertake this particular activity.
Later, the Principal Secretary also inaugurated Lavender Oil Extraction Plant at Lal Mandi and directed for utilizing the facility to its maximum and asked to venture into marketing of the essential oils in a big way while taking the growers along.
Navin directed to provide enough space to growers and motivate them with technical guidance and scientific infrastructural backup.
On the occasion, Director Agriculture Kashmir apprised him of the existing processing and marketing the strategy adopted by the department and assured him to bolster it with further strengthening and providing marketing facilities to the farmers.
He said that Floriculture Development Scheme under the aegis of Agriculture Department is committed to take forward the floriculture sector of Kashmir to bigger heights through its aroma and essential oil production in serene environs with a unique ecosystem triggering a unique aroma.
The Director said that the department in its endeavor to diversify the crop production to commercial cultivation with minimum resources and inputs have chalked a strategy to attract farmers towards aromatic and essential oil crop cultivation and is planning to install processing units in almost every region of the valley.
During the tour, the Principal Secretary also interacted with the heads of various Agriculture Employees Associations of Kashmir Division who highlighted their different issues for redressal. He assured the Associations that their projected genuine demands would be addressed on priority.