Horticulture Deptt offer help to farmers involved in illegal poppy, cannabis cultivation

In order to provide a dignified alternative to people involved in illegal cultivation of poppy and cannabis, Horticulture Department is ready to provide plant material and other infrastructure to the farmers willing to shift their crop to high density apple or other orchard activity.

Director Horticulture Ajaz Ahmad Bhat has said this, according to a statement, during his visit to Shopian and Pulwama districts.  

“People engaged with the cultivation of banned poppy and cannabis, can switch over to profitable business of high density plantation, where Horticulture Department provide infrastructure and plant material on subsidised rates,” Ajaz said.

“A high density orchard produces fruit from the first year of plantation and the minimum yield is worth Rs 1 lakh per kanal,” he added.

Poppy and cannabis cultivation in the south Kashmir districts of Anantnag, Pulwama and some parts of Shopian has become a big challenge for the administration. The menace has not onlycreated drug mafias but has also involved youth in the use of these drugs.

The director horticulture during his visit inspected plant nurseries in Nowgam, Pulwama and Heerpora and Zainpora nurseries in Shopian and reviewed the function of the department. 

Director Horticulture also visited various Offices including Horticulture Development Office, Awantipora, where the concerned HDO was found absent from duty and was placed under suspension.