Horticulture ‘Centers of Excellence’: Netherlands to Help Technically



Minister for Horticulture, Hajj and Auqaf, Abdul Rehman Veeri Tuesday directed the Horticulture Department to go ahead with the establishment of two “Centers of Excellence” in two capital cities of the State. He said these elite Centers would come up at a cost of Rs 20 Crore.

“The move is aimed at acquainting the farmers and fruit growers about latest technical know-how of horticulture cultivation for better and quality produce in the State,” the Minister added.

The direction in this regard was given by the Minister in a meeting held with the officers of Horticulture Department and representative of Netherlands here today, an official statement said this evening.

The meeting was convened to discuss the DPR formulated in consultation with Dutch experts for setting up two centers of excellence in the State.

The State has sought the expertise of Netherlands for establishment of Centers of Excellence under Horticulture sector and the DPRs in this regard have been formulated by the government with the consultation of Dutch experts.

The senior horticulture expert of Netherlands gave a presentation about the pros and cons of the DPRs and opined that J&K has tremendous horticulture potential, needs to be explored fully on scientific basis to increase the quality fruit produce.

The Minister asked the Department to focus on use of best practices and latest technologies in improving quality and yield of fruits. He said establishment of two Centers of Excellence in Horticulture sector under Indo-Dutch Action Plan will sensitize the fruit growers about high-quality plants, micro-irrigation, high-tech greenhouse technology, tissue culture and weather forecasting.

Stressing on the need to sensitize the farmers about benefits of latest technology, the Minister called for undertaking regular awareness campaigns in all fruit-growing districts to make the farmers cognizant about the new practices and ways to improve quality and production.

The Horticulture Minister said that government’s endeavour is to give fresh imputes to the horticulture sector in the State and has taken some innovative measures to be implemented gradually.

He said two courses in Horticulture sector through Government-owned ITIs will be introduced soon to cater to the manpower requirement.

Veeri said government would also establish Model villages for apple, mango, kin now and apricot fruits in Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh Divisions respectively.

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  1. Creating Center of excellence in any of the fields won’t work if your own commitment to change shall not be there. It is pity that our own research institutes are unable to produce these facilities as well as products. The reason for this may be less research funding, poor research infrastructure and a lot of corruption. Brilliant Kashmiri scientists working all over the world are willing to come in Kashmir with their ideas, research programmes and expertise, but who is going to support them ?… the blind eye of the Govt. as well as our own ego puts us nowhere… I believe that opting for the international help should be welcomed, however, I smell the rat of corruption and lack of sincerity in such measures. It is not just the production, but marketing as well as exporting what matters in the economy… where do we stand in these issues ?

    • I agree with Khalid Rehman. These departments are good for nothing.This step is appreciated but we need to work from grass root level. Apple industry is dying and we have duplicate pesticides, fertilizer. One more thing our scientists who are working in Kashmir they don’t know anything.They don’t even know basic knowledge of fruit cultivation. If center of excellence will be functional I can guarantee that these scientists will move out of office and visit to field.

      I would like to ask 1 question how many scientists have worked with farmers in order to give them right direction.


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