Srinagar, Terming the High-Density Apple plantation as a game changer for the horticulture industry of the State, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti has stressed on the further propagation of the scheme and incentives among orchardists to achieve optimal results, an official statement said.
Chairing a review meeting in this regard, the Chief Minister asked for adopting a convergent approach by the concerned Department, financial institutes, and research units so that the scheme is popularised among the farmers and the desired results are achieved by them.
Minister for Horticulture, Syed Basharat Bukhari; Minister for Finance & Education, Syed Altaf Bukhari and Minister of State for Horticulture, Priya Sethi were present in the meeting.
The Chief Minister asked the JK Bank, which finances the cases of High-Density Apple plantation, to simplify the process of subsidy in case of farmers opting for the schemes to cut down the delays and difficulties. She also asked the JK Bank to review the scheme to further make it amenable to more farmers and explore the possibilities of putting it under the Priority Sector Lending scheme.
Mehbooba Mufti also directed the proper training of workforce by research institutes to execute the scheme on the ground without any technical hassle.
The Chief Minister was informed that among the major initiatives of the Department 100 % support is being provided for the development of nurseries in public sector whiles as 50% support is being provided for the development of nurseries in private sector. Also, 33% subsidy is being provided for establishing C A stores, she was informed.
Also, the meeting was informed that 91 out of 96 cases of financing have been cleared by the JK Bank till date involving Rs. 4.27 crore. So far, the meeting was informed, 72.5 hectares of orchard land has been brought under High-Density Apple plantation in the State.
The meeting was also informed that apple cultivation constitutes about 78% of horticulture which is spread across 48% of the area of the State.
During the meeting, many of the progressive farmers shared their experiences of shifting to High-Density plantation and put across many of their suggestions.
Chief Secretary, B B Vyas; Principal Secretary, Finance, Navin Choudhary; Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Rohit Kansal; Vice Chancellors of SKUAST-J/K; Secretary, Horticulture, Manzoor Ahmad Lone; MD, JKHPMC, Dr. Abdul Kabir Dar; Chairman, JK Bank, Parvez Ahmad; Vice Chairman, JKHPMC, Abdul Salam Reshi; Directors of Horticulture; progressive farmers and other senior officers were present in the meeting.