Stating that J&K’s controlled-atmospheric (CA) storage capacity has reached 1 lakh metric tonne store space, Advisor to the Governor, K Skandan, on Wednesday said the government will take all possible steps to boost the horticulture sector as it contributes immensely to the state’s economy.
The advisor, according to an official spokesperson, said this during a visit to a CA Store at Industrial Growth Centre (IGC) Lassipora, Pulwama. He also visited Horticulture Department’s Centre of Excellence (CoE) Zawoora (Khnomoh), here. At Zawoora the advisor held an extensive tour of the centre and inspected various terraces of high-density Apple orchard, plum orchard, apricot orchard and cherry orchard of improved varieties.
The advisor was informed that the centre is being constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 9.24 crore. The centre will have facilities for the production of high quality fruit plants, micro-irrigation, high-tech greenhouse technology, tissue culture labs, bio-control labs and weather forecasting station, besides facilities to analyze fruit diseases like scabies, leaf curl, brown rot, etc as well as training to the staff.
The advisor was told about the latest technologies of greenhouse for multiplication and high-density apple orchard with the latest technology to enhance productivity. The Advisor also inspected walnut germplasm bank having different varieties of walnut. At IGC Lassipora, the Advisor inspected Controlled Atmosphere Cold Store of ‘Fruit Masters Agro Fresh’. The Advisor also inspected different sections of the storing unit and was satisfied with the facilities being provided there.
On the occasion, Advisor Skandan said that the Government is committed to increase growers’ income by increasing the shelf life of the fruit.
Later, a presentation was given to the advisor wherein he was informed that around 21 MT of apples were produced in the state during 2018-19 and that have contributed 70 percent to the national market.
The Advisor was also informed that 1 lakh metric tonne has come up and the state requires additional 3 lakh MT of CA storage to increase the holding capacity to avoid distress sale. The advisor assured that the government will take all possible steps to boost the horticulture sector as it contributes immensely to the state’s economy. Navin Kumar Choudhary, Principal Secretary Industries and Commerce, Secretary Horticulture, Manzoor Ahmed Lone, Director Horticulture, Ajaz Ahmed Bhat, Director Agriculture ,AltafAijazAndrabi, Director Industries and Commerce Kashmir, Mahmood Ahmad Shah, Deputy Commissioner Pulwama, Syed Abid Rashid Shah and other officers accompanied the Advisor during the visit.