Srinagar: National Horticulture Board is mulling to take 200 hectares of land for vegetable production under cluster-based approach in district Budgam.
To increase the potential of commercial vegetable production and its marketing at national level a meeting was held at Agriculture complex Lalmandi today under the chairmanship of Ariz Ahmad Managing Director National Horticulture Board (NHB) with Senior functionaries of the Department of Agriculture, SKUAST(K), Horticulture Department and Horticulture Planning and marketing Department.
Ariz Ahmad highlighted the activities taken up by the NHB for the vegetable and fruit production. He said that the board wants to boost the vegetable production in the valley on commercial lines and its Post Harvest management. He said that the National Horticulture Board intends to take 200 hectares of land for vegetable production under cluster-based approach in district Budgam. Ariz further added that the central government wants to provide assistance for production, land development, post-harvest management, laying of cold storage infrastructure and to provide the marketing facility for the growers. He asked the scientists and officers of the department to work in close coordination for the upliftment of the farming community.
Earlier Director Agriculture Kashmir Altaf Aijaz Andrabi gave a detailed power point presentation on the vegetable prospectus in Kashmir division. Andrabi deliberated that out of the net sown area of 3.62 lakh hectares 21.79% of the area is under the vegetable production. He said that the temperate climate of Kashmir is suited for vegetable production. He emphasized upon a definite cropping pattern according to the demand and growing of high value and exotic vegetables and stressed on value addition marketing of the produce to other states. Director highlighted the importance of organic farming in the valley and said that the department has already taken up ten villages as organic clusters for vegetables and each cluster comprises of 50 hectares of land.
Shahnawaz Bukhari Director Horticulture Planning and Marketing assured the meeting that all possible support will be extended to the farming community for marketing of vegetable and other produce.
Among others Dr S.A. Wani Professor and Head Agriculture Economics SKUAST (K), other representatives of SKUAST K, Dr Shakir Head Centre of Excellence Barabanki, Ram Saroop Purnia Centre of Excellence Karnal, progressive farmers, Joint Directors of the department, concerned officers and officials of the Department were also present.