Srinagar: In a bid to double farmers income, the department of horticulture has set a target to bring 5500 hectares of land under the Modified High-Density Plantation Scheme in Jammu and Kashmir.
Director-General Horticulture, Aijaz Bhat on Saturday chaired a review meeting in which he directed officers to accelerate the pace of implementation of this scheme.
As per the statement, DG instructed them to speed up the implementation of the Modified High-Density Plantation Scheme, for which a target of 5500 Hectares has been fixed for 6 years.
He urged the Officers to make frequent visits to the field and conduct awareness camps on a routine basis and provide the growers with the latest technical know-how. Improvement of work culture in the offices, maintaining a grower friendly atmosphere and skill development of the staff were also among many instructions given to the officers.
During the meeting, the DG took a review of all the Departmental schemes and emphasized upon all the officers and concerned agencies for timely completion of given targets. He urged the officer to make proper and full expenditure and said that low expenditure on the part of any Officer shall not be accepted.
The J&K government has accorded sanction to the implementation of a modified High Density (HD) plantation scheme.
On March 12, the Administrative Council under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor ManojSinha approved the implementation of a high-density plantation scheme in the horticulture sector with the support of the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED).
According to horticulture department officials, the scheme will go a long way in enhancing the quality and quantity of horticulture produce and doubling the farmers’ income.
The farmer-centric scheme will be implemented for apple, walnut, almond, cherry, litchi, and olive among others over an estimated area of 5500 hectares of suitable agro-climatic zones for 6 years with effect from March 2021 to March 2026.
The new high-density plantation scheme has provisions to provide 50% subsidy to orchardists for the establishment of high-density orchards accompanied by a loan facility for raising 40% of the remaining capital. The scheme will also provide subsidies to the growers on account of expenditure related to micro-irrigation, plant material, and anti-hail nets. Under the scheme, preference will be given to farmers with landholdings of less than 4 kanal.
The high-density plantations are expected to make horticulture profitable through superior yields, higher yields per hectare, early harvest, and introduction of insect and pest resistance varieties thereby saving the expenditure on disease and pest control.
The scheme will be implemented with the support of NAFED which will provide end to end support to the growers and will assess the suitability of available land for undertaking high-density plantation.