Srinagar:- Deputy Commissioner(DC) Srinagar, Mohammad Aijaz Asad Tuesday undertook an extensive tour of various interior areas in Dal Lake to take onsite assessment of the measures taken up to further improve the socio-economic conditions of the farmers of different hamlets in Dal Lake through promotion of FPOs.
During the visit, the Deputy Commissioner visited Akhoon Mohalla, Kachri Mohalla and other adjacent hamlets in the area and took on spot assessment of cultivation of Lotus Stem (Nadroo).
The DC inspected the measures adopted by Lotus Stem (Nadru) farmers for harvesting Nadru produce from Dal Lake and was informed that Lotus Stem is cultivated in an area of 99.50 Hectares in the Dal Lake with a total yearly production of 450-500 metric tonnes.
The Deputy Commissioner also held an interaction with the members of recently formed Farmer Producer Organization(FPO), “Dal Lake Lotus Stem Producer Company Limited” promoted under the Central Sector Scheme of NABARD in Srinagar District which is involved in growing Agriculture crops, Market gardening, Horticulture produce etc.
On the occasion, the DC was apprised that there are around 250 Farmers (Shareholders) including over 100 females in the FPO and it is working on branding of different value added products like Vacuum dried Lotus stem besides fresh Exotic vegetables. The FPO has been able to export 02 consignments of their produce to the UAE with the support of the Department of Agriculture.
During the visit, Farmers projected various issues and demands before the Deputy Commissioner including setting up of marketing outlets at prominent places for Agriculture produce, establishment of drying units, support for the beekeepers, providing carrier vehicles for home delivery of Agriculture products and support under KCC scheme.
After listening patiently to the demands, the Deputy Commissioner assured the FPO members that all the possible support shall be provided by the District Administration including providing marketing outlets at important locations in Srinagar.
He further assured the farmers that 100 beekeeping Units will be established in the area to generate employment avenues for local youth and diversify their income. Besides, high tech poly greenhouses will be provided to the farmers.
The DC directed the concerned officers to expedite the support to the FPO for establishing the drying units and provide them the vehicles under Mumkin Scheme.
The DC said that a focused attention is being given for upliftment of the socio-economic sector to generate employment opportunities for the local people. He said under this programme, the on-going schemes of the Government may also be converged to enhance the cost effectiveness of FPOs and create valuable infrastructure in the sector.
He directed the concerned Departments to sensitize farmers about the advantage of FPO for taking maximum benefits from their crops by selling their produce in an organized and profitable way.
The DC explained that the FPO is an institutional mechanism to reduce cost of production, increase per unit production and facilitate better market linkage so as to enhance the income of farmers. He further said that by the formation of FPOs an end to end solution of the problems confronted by the farmers is being provided and farmers are free to manage their affairs from the production level to post harvest and marketing of their branded products thereby eliminating the clutches of the middle man and doubling farmer’s income.