Horticulture Mission goes slow in JK

Only 17,000-hec rejuvenated in 7 years

UMER MAQBOOL

Srinagar, Nov 21: The centrally sponsored multi-crore Horticulture Mission for North East and Himalayan States (HMNEH) is proving a failure in J&K as authorities here are indifferent to act upon its vital component: rejuvenation of old and senile orchards.
 The official figures reveal that against a whopping 80,000 hectares of horticulture land in J&K that needs rejuvenation, only 17000-hectare of orchards have been rejuvenated in seven years.
 According to the details, 1000-hectare of horticultural land was rejuvenated in 2005-06, 2209-hec in 2006-07, 7455-hec in 2007-08, 2325-hec in 2008-09, 1325-hec in 2009-10, 1600-hec in 2010-11 and 1650-hec in 2011-12.
 Experts told Greater Kashmir that the process of rejuvenating senile orchards to increase their production and productivity level is going at snail’s pace over the years despite the need of accelerating it.
 “In this state, more than 80,000 hectares of horticultural land needs rejuvenation, but till date performance under this sector has been unsatisfactory. And if the same pace continues, it might take 70- 80 years to achieve the desirable target,” they said, adding that slow pace of rejuvenating horticultural land is something to be worried.
 Sources blamed Horticulture Department for what they said setting very low annual targets under this component.
 “At least it should have fixed an annual target of 10,000 hectares for rejuvenation,” they said, adding that authorities in Horticulture Department are indifferent towards the vital revenue earning sector of the Valley.
 “There is no fun of equipping growers with mechanical inputs without infusing fresh lease of life in orchards by using latest methods,” they added.
 However, the officials claim that “much headway has been made in rejuvenating saffron land under National Mission on Saffron that was sanctioned by Government of India at a total cost of Rs 372.18 crore.”
 “Against the total target of 3500-hec, 1200-hec of saffron land have been rejuvenated in only two years after the program was launched,” they added.
 When contacted, Deputy Director Horticulture, Akthar Hussain admitted that there has not been much progress in rejuvenating orchards in the State.
 “We are taking up rejuvenation of orchards on large scale from next year onwards,” he added.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 21 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 21 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 22 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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