STATE TIMES NEWSRAMBAN: Describing agriculture and horticulture sector as the backbone of rural economy, Principal Secretary, Agriculture and Horticulture, Navin Kumar Choudhary on Saturday announced a slew of measures to boost the twin sectors in Ramban district.He laid focus on cultivating two crops in a year and fixed a timeline of March 2022 to achieve the target. He also stressed upon providing one supplemental income to every farmer family, in collaboration with other sister departments.Principal Secretary said this while reviewing functioning of departments coming under his charge including Animal & Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries, in a meeting here today.Deputy Commissioner, Ramban, Mussarat Islam, Director Horticulture, Jammu, Ram Sewak, Director Agriculture, Jammu, K K Sharma, Director Animal Husbandry, Jammu, Vivek Sharma, Director Sheep Husbandry, Jammu, Krishan Lal Sharma, Managing Director, Horticulture Planning & Marketing Corporation, Vishesh Mahajan, Director Fisheries, Bashir Ahmed, ADC, Harbans Lal and various other senior officers attended the meeting.Principal Secretary asked Director Horticulture to provide 50 solar dryers to Ramban district for mechanized drying of Anardana which has huge potential.Keeping in view the potential of olive cultivation and propagation of rootstock, Principal Secretary set a target of 200 tons per month for olive cultivation for Chenab valley districts including Ramban, Doda and Kishtwar besides formulating FPOs for olive growers who shall also be provided quality plantation material by the Horticulture Department.Navin Chaudhary also directed officers to bring agriculture and horticulture land under two crop cultivations by March 2022. He also passed directions to bring every farmer’s family under one supplemental income in collaboration with line departments.Principal Secretary also emphasized upon doubling the honey production from present 8,000 quintals, in view of it having been selected under ODOP.He also directed the CAO for motivating honey growers to set up honey processing plants two each in Ramban and Banihal areas since, honey has been selected as the ODOP item.In view of the potential in olive cultivation, Principal Secretary asked Director Horticulture to float tenders within two weeks for procurement of an Olive Extraction Plant which shall be operated by the JKHPMC. He said that the oil extraction plant must be made functional by 31st October 2022.Navin Choudhary also directed CAO to double the Green Pea cultivation from 300 ha at present to 600 ha within one year timeline. He asked Director Agriculture to provide top grade hybrid seeds which shall facilitate cultivation of high quality green pea. Based on the potential in green pea cultivation, he also sanctioned 9 MT refrigerated van for marketing and forward linkage of mushroom and green pea cultivation. He also asked the Chief Agriculture Officer to explore the potential in quince seed vegetation which grew widely.He also directed CAO to present a status paper on cultivation of spices and medicinal plants in those remote areas which experience extremely cold climates besides bringing 100 hectares of land under red chilly cultivation and hit a target of 600 MT.
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