33.1 C
Wednesday, April 24, 2024
HomeFeatured StoriesJ&K's Horticulture Thrives, Boosts Economy &Employment

J&K’s Horticulture Thrives, Boosts Economy &Employment


Related stories

IMF Executive board meetings scheduled till May 1: Pakistan not yet on the agenda

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has not yet included...

Foreign national reportedly abducted from Islamabad

A foreign national was reportedly abducted from Islamabad on Sunday within...

Millions At Risk As Almost Half Of All Major Chinese Cities Are Sinking, Warns Study

Nearly half of China's major cities are skinking because...

In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, horticulture has emerged as a driving force behind economic prosperity, poverty alleviation, and job creation. Since the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019, the Horticulture Department has spearheaded numerous initiatives to bolster infrastructure and promote the sector, resulting in remarkable progress over the past few years.

Significant Milestones in Horticulture Development:
Over the last five years, the Horticulture Department has successfully expanded horticulture across Kashmir, bringing 10,785 hectares of land under cultivation for crops like apple and walnut through the Area Expansion Program. This program has not only enhanced production and productivity but also boosted farmers’ income.
Infrastructure Development:
The department has provided substantial assistance to 3,099 Handling Units and established 4,016 vermicomposting units in orchards throughout Kashmir. Moreover, it has constructed and installed 2,108 borwells to address irrigation needs. To further aid farmers, 30,389 machinery equipment, including tractors, tillers, motor power sprayers, bush cutters, IP sets, and chain saws, have been provided from 2017 to the present.
Boosting Private Entrepreneurship:
To improve high-density apple production, the Horticulture Department launched the “High-Density Plantation Scheme 2022.” This scheme encourages local nursery growers by providing them with genuine root stock at subsidized rates or offering incentives for importing rootstock. The ultimate goal is to enhance the quality and productivity of fruits while providing farmers with affordable and authentic plant material.
Promoting Youth Employment:
Under the Minimal Processing Units scheme, youth in areas like Pulwama, Anantnag, and Budgam have set up processing units. The scheme provides a subsidy of Rs 13 lakh out of the total Rs 25 lakh to empower these young entrepreneurs, fostering job generation and helping them become job providers themselves. The department is also conducting training sessions for women interested in entrepreneurship to support them in establishing their own ventures.
Empowering Apple Growers:
To ensure apple farmers receive fair prices for their produce, the Horticulture Department has constructed 3,490 pack houses across Kashmir. These facilities facilitate cleaning, grading, and packing of apples, safeguarding the harvest from the vagaries of weather. With a total cost of approximately Rs 5 lakh, farmers receive a subsidy of Rs 2 lakh from the Central government.
Sustainable Farming Initiatives:
To promote organic farming, the department has distributed 3,661 vermicompost units among farmers over the past six years. Under the PMDP and MIDH, farmers receive a 50 percent subsidy for these units, which recycle organic material into rich and usable soil. Vermicompost enriches the soil structure, aids moisture retention, and serves as a nutrient-rich organic fertilizer.
Boosting Honey Production and Pollination:
To enhance honey production and improve apple yields, the Horticulture Department has set up 6,590 bee colonies across apple orchards in the valley. Under the MIHD scheme, unemployed youth and farmers receive a 50 percent subsidy for beekeeping. Honey bees play a crucial role in pollination, with 95 percent of apple pollination attributed to these industrious insects. By addressing inadequate pollination management practices, this initiative aims to improve apple crop yield and quality.
As horticulture continues to thrive in Jammu and Kashmir, these efforts by the Horticulture Department are transforming the region’s economic landscape and empowering farmers, ensuring a fruitful future for the sector and the entire community.

Latest stories