Saying that Horticulture is the prime source for the Socio economic profile of the farmers of the state, Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Hassan Mir today stressed the need to introduce latest post-harvesting technology in the state as it is necessary for farmers to compete with global market.
The Minister said this while addressing at an International conference on “Post-Harvest Management of Apples” organized by Confederation Of Indian Industry (CII) Kashmir Chapter at Islamic University of Science &Technology (IUST) here this morning with the aim to access international best practices to minimize post-harvest wastages and maximize productivity.
As per a statement the Minister has said that last year, J&K produced 22 lakh metric tons of Apple and it is the need of hour for all to have a comprehensive policy to go for setting up of Post Harvesting technology in the state to increase the durability of our production for better returns. He has said, “Our farmers have to compete with international market which has already knocked our doors adding that introduction of post-harvest technology in a big way is the only answer.” He has said it would provide better marketing facilities to the farmers at their door step and steps are being taken to provide better market linkages to farmers for their better return.
The minister has also said that Horticulture department has already launched various schemes for setting up of Post- harvest projects for which entrepreneur are being provided subsidy. He has called upon the youth to come forward and set up cold storages and take the benefit of these schemes.
The Minister welcomed the guests from Italy and hoped that Kashmir can work with Italy to help improve its apple management system and complimented CII & IUST for organizing the conference.
Vice Chancellor, Islamic University for Science and Technology Dr A R Trag, was the guest of honour. Sheikh Imran, Chairman CII Kashmir while welcoming the guests has said that the growers have to be assisted at different stages of cultivation along with the provision of state of art grading, packing, pre-cooling and transporting infrastructure.