Says Deptt’s quarantine facilities to be made available to developers on lease for enhanced health scrutiny of imported plants
JAMMU, MARCH 03 – To reduce state’s dependence on foreign imports, Minister for Horticulture Syed Basharat Ahmed Bukhari today directed the department to establish five High Density Apple Nurseries for quality root stock development in various parts of the state.
The Minister issued these directions while chairing a meeting to review the progress of High Density Plantation Programme in the state.
Vice Chairperson, State Horticulture Development Board Abdul Salam Reshi, Secretary Horticulture Manzoor Ahmad Lone, Director Horticulture Jammu Anuradha Gupta, Director Horticulture Kashmir Mohammad Hussain Mir, Director Horticulture Planning & Marketing Manzoor Ahmad Qadiri, Director Research SUKAST-K Prof M.Y Zargar, Director Finance Horticulture P.S Rakwal, Director Law Enforcement Susheel Sahni, Joint Director Horticulture Jammu Tarvinder Singh, Joint Director Horticulture Kashmir Lokesh Kumar Bali, Zonal Head J&K Bank, Jammu Sunil Gupta besides concerned officer from various departments including SUKAST- Kashmir and J&K Bank were present in the meeting.
Taking detailed stock of progress made in the programme, the Minister said that the department needs to operate with an objective to achieve self-sustenance by focusing on enhancing internal production of fruits plants.
“We are working with an objective to eliminate the need for imports of root stock for apples in the next few years. This multi-pronged initiative will not only make high quality plants more accessible for state’s growers and improve JK’s acumen in the sector, but will also allow the financial resources allocated for imports to be used for further developing necessary infra to facilitate growers”, Bukhari said.
The Minister, while asserting on the need to enhance scrutiny with regards to health of imported root stock before being supplied to the growers, said that the department’s plant quarantine facilities will be now made available to developers for use on lease.
He also called for a detailed assessment to be conducted to account for available quarantine facilities available with the private sector developers against the required capacity for successful implementation of High Density Plantation Programme in the state.
The Minister also passed directions to J&K Bank to expedite the release of payments against subsidy for the cases recommended by JIT for High Density Plantation through Private Enterprises (2017-18). He asked them to ensure release of these funds within two working days.
The Minister also necessitated for creating a saving clause in the agreement/scheme which protects the interests of growers as well as the state within a stipulated time from plant mortality, trellis failure or failure in fruit productivity of the imported plant.
Besides, it was also directed in the meeting to initiate process for procurement of plant testing kits so that imported fruit trees can be duly checked for diseases and viruses in a timely manner.