STATE TIMES NEWSSRINAGAR: Principal Secretary Agriculture Production & Farmers’ Welfare Department, Navin Kumar Choudhary on Thursday chaired a meeting of officers to discuss the draft of Agri-Horti Export and Organic Policies for Jammu and Kashmir at Civil Secretariat here.Special Secretary AP&FWD, Pankaj Magotra, Director Agriculture Kashmir/Jammu, Director Horticulture Kashmir/Jammu, Managing Director Managing Director JK Horticulture Produce & Marketing Corporation (JKHPMC), MD Agros, Director Research SKUAST-J, representatives of APEDA, Additional Secretary Horticulture Department and other concerned attended the meeting in person and via video conferencing.While reviewing the progress on the draft of Organic Farming and Agri-Horti Export Policy (2021-25 ), the Principal Secretary called for the mass awareness regarding proper branding, marketing and export of special Agri-Horti products at grass root level by involving PRI members so that the farmers could make their crops organic.He said that for a beginning small clusters can be formed with 4-5 Panchayats and could be taken to next level to attract more farmers towards organic farming.He directed the officers to invite eminent scientists and practicing farmers from all over the country who have expertise and experience in organic farming for sharing the same.Navin Choudhary asked the officers for Panchayats to be developed as Organic-cum-Export clusters.Besides, he impressed upon participants of the meeting to develop all agriculture and horticulture departmental farms on organic lines.He instructed the concerned officials to organize a seminar in collaboration with SKUAST-K/J, to formulate project report regarding Agri Exports/Organic cluster for submission to NABARD for further approval.Regarding Organic Certification Agency, it was informed that formation of J&K Organic Certification Agencies has already been approved at both divisional levels.On the occasion, experts from APEDA presented online presentation on Proposed Export Policy for J&K and discussed the need of the policy and constraints in promotion of Agri- Exports from the Union Territory.The Principal Secretary informed the meeting that a nodal officer for Agri- exports will be appointed soon.
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