Jammu and Kashmir is all set to revolutionise its fruit industry with introduction of the High-Density Plantation (HDP) system and production of quality planting material.
The UT’s Department of Horticulture, in collaboration with Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research-Central Institute of Temperate Horticulture (ICAR-CITH), have got together to provide technological intervention for the new project.
The project aims to enhance the production capacity of planting material to 111 lakh in the first five years, develop 390 hectare of nurseries in public and private sectors, rejuvenate 2,000 hectare of orchard areas, and produce planting material to cover 5,500 hectare under HDP of 12 fruit crops.
Additionally, the project aims to strengthen plant testing and quality control, tissue culture, and virus indexing labs besides building capacity by training 5,000 farmers and 150 technical manpower from SKUAST and the Department of Horticulture. The project shall create 200 new enterprises in the form of HD nurseries and provide potential jobs to 25,000 persons.
“The current lack of quality planting material in the region limits the potential of the fruit industry and costs the region approximately Rs 500 crore in imports, which also brings in new pests and diseases,” Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture Production, Atal Dulloo, said.
“The mission of the project is to domestically produce quality planting material, reduce imports, prioritize high-density plantation of fruit crops, transform old orchards into more productive orchard systems, and diversify the JK fruit industry to capture the national and international market,” he added.
“Production of Designer Plants for Promotion of High-Density Plantation and Rejuvenation of Orchards” is one among the 29 projects, which were approved by the Jammu and Kashmir administration after being recommended by the UT Level Apex Committee for holistic development of agriculture and allied sectors.