Horticulture: J&K Government Plans to Boost Horticulture Sector.

For capacity building in horticulture key sector, Jammu and Kashmir government is planning to set up separate horticulture university and specialised horticulture training institutes in the state. Horticulture Minister Abdul Rehman Veeri said that the government was also mulling setting up Centre of Excellence in horticulture for north and south Kashmir.

A high-level meeting of officials chaired, Veeri said horticulture is among the most viable sectors of the State economy and has the potential to bring huge wealth to Jammu and Kashmir.

The Minister urged the horticulture players, stakeholders and officials to adopt innovative approach to increase production and meet the market demand.

Veeri told the officials, "You need to change your attitude towards the department. This is a huge department which contributes massively to the state's economy, however it lacks on many fronts,that needs to be changed. Some of the areas are still lackingon infrastructure front. Money has been released but the worksare still pending. I want all such works to be completed onwar footing."

The Minister directed the officials to make a comprehensive plan for boosting the sector.

The Minister said demand for horticulture products was growing on national and global markets, which calls for new production methods to enhance output to meet this demand. Veeri emphasised the need to create strong market linkages and trade relations that will help improve the region's horticulture produce and make it more competitive.

A vibrant horticulture sector could help cushion the region during worst times, Veeri said and argued that it was vital for the region to invest more in the horticulture industry and related infrastructure, noting that it is the best alternative to boost exports.

He said, "Jammu and Kashmir has tremendous potential in horticulture, agriculture and allied sectors wherein educated unemployed youth can set up their entrepreneurial ventures with support from the government."

Source: http://www.business-standard.com/