Minister for Public Works, Floriculture and Gardens & Parks, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari Friday inaugurated 24th Annual Group Meeting of All India Coordinated Research Project (AICR) on Floriculture at SKUAST-Kashmir at Shalimar university campus.
Bukhari said Jammu and Kashmir has a historical garden tradition, however, the commercial floriculture is much recent. He said that there is ample scope for the production and export of floricultural products from Jammu and Kashmir.
“So far little attention has been paid and the industry has not been explored to its maximum. At present an area of about 350 hectares is under commercial floriculture and about 700 farm families are directly or indirectly involved in the trade,” an official statement quoting Bukhari as having said.
He added that the technology for the cultivation of Aromatic crops for oil production in Kashmir has been developed by the state Government.
“The venture is being taken up by some farmers of the valley to cover waste and rain fed areas which otherwise hardly return any economical yield. The cultivation is now being extended to most of the areas in Jammu and Leh divisions as well,” the Minister for Floriculture averred.
Bukhari said that an initiative for propagation of lillium bulbs in Kashmir in Technical collaboration with VWS Holland has been already taken by the state government.
“Here I want to inform the delegates that our state in the country is the only where quality flowering bulbs can be propagated. We are able to propagate one lillium flowering bulb at a cost of Rs.5-6 only while as the minimum import cost of the similar bulb is Rs12,” he added.
The Minister told the meeting that the State Government’s target is to make Floriculture a 100 crore business in J&K before 2020.
“I’m hopeful that today’s meeting shall lead us well to achieve this goal and am sure that the matters regarding floriculture in the country in general and that for the State of Jammu and Kashmir in particular would come under intense scrutiny for the next three days. The deliberations, I hope would lead to concrete recommendations and charting out of future course and research strategies regarding ornamental and floriculture industry in the country. I extend my warmest wishes to the SKUAST- K and organizers of this meeting,” he said.
For the convenience of farmers, the Minister for Public Works ordered for immediate completion of macadamization and black topping of road connecting Hyderpora Railway Bridge to Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Srinagar.