With a view to extend technological and other guidance to the apple growers and boost implementation of its Apple Project throughout the Kashmir, J&K Bank today entered into a tie-up with Sher-i-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST), Shalimar.
As per a statement the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Parvez Ahmad, Executive President J&K Bank and Dr Afifa S Kamili, Director Extension Education, SKUAST in presence of Chairman and CEO J&K Bank Mushtaq Ahmad, Vice-Chancellor SKUAST Dr Tej Pratap at the bank’s Corporate Headquarters. Others present on the occasion were J&K Bank President Nayeemullah, Vice-President A K Pandita, Associate Director Extension Education, SKUAST, Dr Fayaz Ahmad Banday and other seniors officers of the bank.
According to the agreement, SKUAST will help the Bank in implementing its Apple Project through provision of modern technological support to the growers for improving quality of apples, improving tree density and latest techniques and practices for improving production of apple crop in the state of J&K.
Speaking on the occasion, Mushtaq Ahmad has said, “As a bank we understand well the contribution and the scope of horticulture in J&K economy. So we are working through a multi-pronged policy, where-in we help the growers with capital, facilitate capacity building to lead them towards liberty of choice and ownership.”
He has also said that the bank would be organizing seminars across varied geographies of the valley to educate the progressive farmers and enable them to build upon their farming capacities.
The tie-up is a step towards further empowering the growers of the state through facilitation of modern techniques and technologies to boost their apple produce, he added.
Speaking after the MoU ceremony, Dr Tej Pratap, VC, SKUAST said, “The collaboration in this area was fundamentally needed besides being a good reason for two institutions to work together.”
He has termed the tie-up as important mile stone and said, “SKUAST-Kashmir will provide requisite technical support to the Bank for effective implementation of Apple Project.”
SKUAST-Kashmir will provide services of Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and Division of Fruit Science in collaboration with Directorate of Extension Education, SKUAST-Kashmir for imparting technical training to the apple growers locally, he said.”
After putting in his signatures on the MoU, Parvez Ahmad commented, “After the complete implementation of Apple Project, we envisage a big shift in the fruit economy of the state allowing the growers’ to steadily move towards its center. It would make a huge difference in the lives of not only 3 lac apple growers but a much larger population of Kashmir valley.”
According to the agreement, SKUAST-Kashmir will provide technical assistance to apple growers for introduction of latest irrigation techniques in kareva areas with scarcity of water and will also provide guidance to apple growers for converting their uncultivated land into apple orchards with introduction of drip irrigation and other techniques.
The technical guidance to the apple growers will include re-plantation in aged orchards with high yielding, improved and super type colour strains/ hybrid apple varieties and assistance on use of fertilizers, fungicides and pesticides, post harvest management and marketing for improving quality and quantity of apple produce.