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JAMMU, JULY 31: Advisor to Governor Farooq Khan today said that Government is determined to give thrust to the Agriculture and Horticulture sectors to boost the production and to improve the socio-economic status of the farmers of the state.

The Advisor said this during a meeting to review the implementation of various state and centrally sponsored schemes of Agriculture, Horticulture and allied sectors.

The meeting reviewed department wise achievements and implementation of various centrally and state sponsored schemes.

The meeting was informed that the Department of agriculture is currently implementing various schemes under state and central funding including Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, National Mission for sustainable Agriculture, National Mission on Agriculture Extension and Technology, National Food Security Mission, National e-Governance Programme for Agriculture, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bhima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana and others.

Speaking on the occasion, Advisor Khan highlighted the need for maximizing the reach of different schemes and time bound completion of all ongoing programmes and projects. He urged the officers to implement the schemes in letter and spirit for the benefit of the farmers and fruit growers of the state.

He directed to organize mass awareness camps in far flung areas in collaboration with state Agriculture Universities and allied departments to create awareness regarding various technological interventions and farmers welfare schemes to give results in the field through increase of production and productivity of agricultural crops.

He called for formulation of futuristic action plans to bring significant changes in agriculture /horticulture sectors through mass awareness of farmers to go for market oriented farming.

The Advisor impressed upon the officers to popularize and promote branding of local specialties and cash crops in the state. He also stressed to give fillip to mushroom growing, vegetable cultivation, bee-keeping and organic farming in the specific potential areas as per suitability.

He advised the Heads of the Departments to judiciously utilize the existing resources to put thrust for awareness, re-orientation and training of the farmers for promotion of local specialties like apples, walnut, Rajmash, Basmati Rice, Honey, Garlic, in the respective areas.

The Advisor asked the Agriculture Department to keep vigil on land encroachment and to bring the illegal conversion of agriculture land to commercial purposes to the notice of revenue authorities.

Secretary, Manzoor Ahmad Lone presented the overall view of activities and achievements of the Agriculture and Horticulture Departments.

Earlier, Director Agriculture gave a detailed view of the services/activities under various farmers welfare programmes including achievements during 2018-19 and 2019-20 against the approved action plans.

Director Horticulture and Director Command Area Development, Jammu gave powerpoint presentations about physical and financial progress of their respective departments.

Director, Command Area Development, Jammu, Dr Manmohan Singh who also attained superannuation today was presented a memento by Advisor on the occasion as a mark of respect.

Meanwhile, Advisor Khan inaugurated the upgraded Span Production Laboratory at Mushroom Demonstration-cum-Training Centre, Jammu.

He was informed that the span production capacity will be raised to 25 Mts from the existing 9 Mts for production of Improved Quality Spawn for supply to the farmers to boost the Mushroom Production.

Later, Advisor Khan along with Secretary Horticulture Department Manzoor Ahmad Lone, VC SKUAST Jammu, Director Horticulture (P&M) Department Shahnawaz Bukhari, Director Horticulture Department, MD JKHPMC, Additional Deputy Commissioner visited the office of Director Horticulture, Planning& Marketing at Fruit Market Narwal and took stock of its functioning and problems being faced by the business community dealing with fruit and vegetable etc.

On the occasion, a number of delegations of Fruit and Vegetable market, including Fruit &Vegetable Association Narwal met with the Advisor and apprised him about the problems being faced by the business community and all those visiting the market with their daily business activities.

They raised demands including revision of Site-plan for the Mandi, link road to Mandi via Balidaan Stambh, expansion of mandi with special focus on the establishment of Mega Market, opening of ATM facilities in the Mandi area, improvement in basic facilities like sanitation and many others.

The Advisor gave patient hearing to the problems of the traders and members of the Association and assured that all their genuine grievances and demands raised would be looked into and necessary action would be taken at the earliest. He also issued necessary instructions to the officers of Horticulture Marketing to look into the basic issues and take immediate steps to redress these. He also asked Additional Deputy Commissioner Samba to identify the suitable land and explore the possibilities for establishment of fruit / vegetable Mandi at Samba.

The meeting was attended by Secretary Agriculture and Horticulture, Manzoor Ahmad Lone, Vice Chancellor SKUAST-Jammu, Dr K. S. Risam, Director Agriculture Jammu, P. S. Rathore, Director, Command Area Development, Jammu, Dr Manmohan Singh, Director Horticulture, Jammu, R. K. Katoch, Managing Director, Jammu and Kashmir Horticultural Produce Marketing and Processing Corporation (JKHPMC) Shafat Sultan, Managing Director J&K Agro Industries Development corporation Bhawani Rakwal, Director JK Horticulture Planning & Marketing, Syed Shahnawaz Bukhari, Director Sericulture, Riyaz Ahmad Wani, Joint Directors of Agriculture, Deputy Directors of Agriculture, Chief Agriculture Officers, Chief Horticulture Officers besides senior officers of concerned departments.

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