Principal Secretary to Government, Agriculture Production Department J&K State, Sundeep Kumar Nayak (IAS) today said that "Agri-Tourism" will shortly be introduced in Valley to boost the agriculture and tourism sectors here.
Speaking during a review meeting held here, Sundeep said that every district has a unique product and Government wants to help the farmers to promote it so that it becomes an icon in the country. Quoting some examples, the Principal Secretary said besides, producing other basic varieties, places like Gurez is blessed with producing a good quality of 'zeera'(Cumin), Kupwara with honey, Baramulla has the potential of producing exotic vegetables, and Ganderbal has great potential for potato farming. He added Government wants to help farmers to promote these products, adding the act would not only help the farming community financially, but specific product promotion would also attract tourists from world over to visit these places.
Sundeep Kumar averred that Gulgam Kupwara will be taken up as a model village for honey production as farmers here produce superior quality of honey. Besides, he added the area has clean atmosphere which would help in promoting it as new "Agri-Tourism" destination.
Reviewing the agricultural activities in districts of Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora, the principal Secretary said three areas have been identified as vegetable initiative clusters, which will be linked directly to the vegetable corridor of the country. He informed that more than 70 hectares in Pattan, Sopore and Baramulla will be upgraded and every best technology will be provided to the farmers so that the benefit is directly harvested by them.
Addressing Chief Agriculture Officers, Sandeep said it is important that instead of just catering local market, we should also focus on national and international markets. For this, he added it is important that our production increases multiple times.
He stressed on the officials of the department to lay stress on high-quality products and assured farmers that the subsidy for inputs will be extended.
Later Sandeep also visited district Anantnag to check the working of a soil testing laboratory, workshop and kitchen garden there.
A delegation of progressive farmers interacted with Sandeep Kumar and highlighted their work and asked for further assistance from the department. He assured them all possible help on the priority basis.