Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday asked farmers to take to high density varieties of fruit trees which could increase the turnover of horticulture in the state from present Rs 4,000 crore to Rs 20,000 crore in next five years. High density planting means to increase the plant population per unit area for increasing the production of fruit crops.
“If only 20 per cent of our orchards take up high density farming over the next five years, the Rs 4,000 crore industry will expand five times to a staggering Rs 20,000 crore,” she said during the discussion on demand for grants of Horticulture and Floriculture Departments in the Assembly here. She said fruit growers need to shift to high density plantation as the move will open up new vistas of employment and income generation for nearly six lakh youth over the next 15 years.
“Government will diversify horticulture and floriculture activities by adopting newer techniques and best practices to survive the onslaught of emerging markets in and outside the country,” she said. Asking the farmers to help make Kashmir the “Fruit Valley of the World”, Mehbooba said her government was working through a multifaceted strategy to change the dynamics of horticulture and floriculture sectors to ensure quality production and better returns. The Chief Minister said the new generation of horticulturists and floriculturists should create a unified online marketing facility where they would directly sell their produce to the buyers in any part of the country.PTI
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