A Core Group of Tata Sons, India comprising of Girish Krishnamurthy, Vice President & Head- Strategic Initiatives, Chairman’s Office, Tata Group, Venguswamy Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President & Global Head-TCS iON and Shankar Ranganathan, Principal TSMG Wednesday visited Kashmir valley for their possible engagements in a public/private partnership efforts in various sectors including the key sector economy i.e., Horticulture with regard to promote Horticulture sector in the State.
The official spokesperson said that the visiting team was accompanied by Director Horticulture Kashmir, Ajaz Ahmad Bhat (KAS), Director Agriculture Kashmir, Ajaz Altaf Andrabi, Managing Director, Shafat Sultan (KAS), other officers of the Horticulture Department and also entrepreneurs/stakeholders.
The spokesperson said that the team visited various public sector institutions/private orchard areas in order to have first-hand feel of the situation and state of Horticulture in Valley.
While interacting with the team, Director Horticulture-Kashmir and Managing Director-JKHPMC gave full resume of Horticulture sector in the valley, its importance and the possible areas of concern for engagements.
The spokesperson said that the Director Horticulture Kashmir informed the group that Horticulture is the key sector of economy of the State with a turnover of Rs. 8000 crores annually for contributing to GSDP of 10% engaging as many as 7.00 lac families involving a population of 35-40 lac souls. Director Horticulture Kashmir also identified certain areas which form the course of concern and require immediate attention for overall interests of the growers and highlighted the importance of expansion of more and more area under Ultra High Density plantation especially Apple in relation to better packaging practices for scientific promotion of horticulture sector for earning better returns.
Director Horticulture Kashmir stressed upon investments in post-harvest management viz. establishment of CA stores, improving value addition of fruit crops and use of reefer vans in order to ensure that better returns results out of the produce.
The spokesperson said that other sectors requiring attention as identified by Director Horticulture Kashmir and put before the team included processing units and use of bio fertilizers/pesticides to ward off the harmful effects of fertilizers/pesticides on the ultimate produce in line with ensuring good hygiene of the produce.
At the end Director Horticulture Kashmir assured the core group of full cooperation at every stage of engagements in Horticulture sector for upgrading this key sector of economy. Later the group visited IGC, Lassipora, Pulwama and interacted with prospective entrepreneurs & other stakeholders.