Srinagar, Jun 4: High speed winds coupled with severe hailstorm has wreaked havoc to the apple orchards in the Kulgam and Baramulla districts of Kashmir.
More than 30 percent of apple crops has been badly affected by the inclement weather in Kulgam and Baramulla districts for the last one month.
“Parts of Kashmir valley have been hit by hailstorm at least three times in the last one month, affecting over 30 percent of horticulture production in south Kashmir’s Kulgam and north Kashmir’s Baramulla district,” an official of Horticulture department said.
Watergam, Dangiwacha, Zaingeer and Rafiabad belts are the worst hit in the Baramulla district of north Kashmir. “The gusty winds and hailstorm on Tuesday night have caused damages to apple crops. We are yet to assess the actual damage,” the official said.
Horticulture is the mainstay of Kashmir’s economy with seven lakh families directly and indirectly associated with the sector. The horticulture contributes seven percent to the Gross State Domestic Product of Jammu and Kashmir.
Kashmir’s fruit season starts in May when first crop of cherry is harvested. It is followed by pears and other fruits including apple which hit the market in the following months. The apple orchards are spread over 1,46,016 hectares in the Valley.
Director Horticulture Kashmir, Aijaz Ahmad Bhat said the damage to the fruit crops due to the hailstorm was not a new phenomenon in Kashmir.
“It is not a new thing that horticulture production has been hit. There are pockets in Kulgam and Baramulla districts, where over 30 percent horticulture production has been affected due to hailstorm. Similarly some areas of Shopian and Bandipora have also been affected,” Bhat said.
He advised the orchardists to take necessary remedial measures to avoid further damages. “We have advised orchardists to use urea spray by which they can save their orchards and fruits from further damage,” he said.
Director Horticulture noted that they have sent their assessment report to the Civil Secretariat and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir office for further action. “I have also told few district development commissioners to make assessment of losses in their respective districts. The government may compensate them some losses,” he said.
Medicinal plant cultivation has potential to change economic scene of JK: Skandan
Srinagar, Jun 18: The Advisors to Governor, K Skandan, KK Sharma and K Vijay Kumar today attended one-day state level workshop on “Cultivation and Utilization of Medicinal Plants” in Jammu and Kashmir State.
The workshop titled ‘State Level Workshop on Medicinal Plants and Other Non-Timber Forest Products’ was jointly organized by Sher-e-Kashmir University of Sciences and Technology (SKUAST-K) and J&K Forest Department at SKAUST here.
Speaking on the occasion, Advisor to Governor K Skandan said medicinal plants have been used in all cultures as a source of medicine. “There is a need for making the the knowledge available to everyone and everybody should have access to this knowledge,” the Advisor told the workshop participants.
He said the dearth of knowledge on the identity and agro-technology of the plants was adding hurdles in medicinal plant cultivation. Advisor Skandan also pointed out that he always suggested the agriculture experts to develop a suitable application for farmers in local language where a lot of intervention and interaction can happen so that a farmer gets to know through the app about the modern techniques and technology. He also suggest for the creation of institutional basis where a farmer can go in person and try to avail the benefits.
“We have to come down to the level where we can easily approach the farmer in terms of technology and holistic approach to cross the hurdles for them,” he said, adding the stakeholders must focus on micro-management so that everybody can come together and can do work for the farmer community.
Meanwhile, Advisor KK Sharma, who holds Science & Technology Department, highlighted that the human society was undergoing changes and the economic part of the society was shifting towards organic and natural sources.
Advisor Sharma said that from Government’s side there is a need for convergence among different departments like agriculture department, science and technology department, forest department and agriculture universities (SKUAST) where all departments would work together.
He said that the Government and other organisations should work on the strategies on how to take the medicinal plant cultivation down to the village panchayats.
Advisor K Vijay Kumar, while addressing the workshop said that there was a need to have a possible market for farmers, ease of doing business, the establishment of regional mandis and how would a farmer sell their products if there are restrictions in place for the commercialization of certain medicinal plant varieties.
He pointed out that medicinal plants are a farmer-friendly, easy to cultivate and high end if the farmers have availability of primary processing and marketing infrastructure.
Advisor Kumar, who holds Forest, Ecology & Environment, said the focus should also be given on the incentives to potential farmers for cultivation of medicinal plants and assured market, suggesting a single platform to these farmers and one settlement for aroma and medicinal plants.
He said the medicinal plant cultivation would change the economic scene of J&K State and will greatly contribute to its economy and wealth with employment generation and livelihood.
Earlier, Vice Chancellor of SKUAST-K, Nazeer Ahmad, while giving the overview of the medicinal plants in J&K State, said medicinal plant species are gaining importance in recent years.
He also informed the workshop that 572 medical plants varieties are present in J&K of which two dozen are being used commercially for high-grade drugs while generating a lot of income and livelihood.
He also informed the workshop that there are certain species which are under tremendous pressure due to over-exploitation and are under the verge of extension.
Speaking on the occasion, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Suresh Chugh said all the stakeholders are being called and discussions were being held threadbare so that the medical plants cultivation would become a vibrant sector in J&K. He said it will eventually play an important role in economy in J&K, adding medicinal plants in the State can be exploited and are commercially viability and people can get huge economic benefits. He said forest department is developing nurseries in the state as 90 percent medicinal plants are coming from wild source and rest is from cultivated areas.
On the occasion, a dozen presentations were given by experts on the cultivation and utilization of medicinal plants in J&K.
Later, three publications titled ‘Medicinal Plants of J&K, Annual Progress Report of Ayush and ‘Agro Technology of Medicinal Plants’ was also released during the occasion.
Commissioner/Secretary of Forests, Environment & Ecology, Manoj Dwivedi, VC SKUAST-J, K S Risam, scientists, scholars, and head of faculties among others also attended the workshop.
AAC to observe foundation day on June 20
Srinagar, Jun 18: Awami Action Committee (AAC) will be observing its 56th foundation day on June 20th, 2019 (Thursday) at AAC headquarters Mirwaiz Manzil Rajouri Kadal.
All members of the organization will be present on the occasion.
The meeting will once again reiterate the party’s stand for resolution of Kashmir issue either through Implementation of UN resolutions or through dialogue among India Pakistan and people of entire J&K.
Members of the meeting will pledge to work towards this goal peacefully and also towards promoting amity and friendship between India and Pakistan for peace and prosperity in the entire region as was the dream of its founding president Shaheed e Millat Mirwaiz Molvi Muhammad Farooq.
Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman and AAC patron Mirwaiz Umar Farooq will address the gathering where the long journey of the organization, its contribution and the challenges ahead will be discussed.
Govt taking several steps to double farmers income by 2022: Skandan
Srinagar, Jun 17: Advisor Skandan on Monday said the government is taking several steps like PM Kisan programme and other welfare initiatives to double the farmers’ income by 2022.
He also inaugurated one-day mega Kisan Mela under centrally-sponsored Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA) scheme at Sports Stadium Budgam.
Besides farmers, the Mela organised by District Agriculture Officer (Extension) was attended by agriculture experts and scientists from the Valley.
He said besides schemes and soil health cards, the farmers need various other inputs and techniques to increase their production.
He suggested the Agriculture Department arrange interaction between progressive farmers and other farmers so that the later too would get acquaintance with the government schemes.
Saying that the Government is very serious to double the farmers’ income, he said the Government will do everything possible for the betterment of the farmer community in Kashmir.
Speaking on the occasion, District Development Commissioner Budgam, Syed Sehrish Asgar, said that the Agriculture Department and the district administration are working shoulder-to-shoulder for the betterment of farmer community in the district.
Director Agriculture Kashmir, Syed Altaf Aijaz Andrabi said the Department has taken various initiatives both under centrally and state-sponsored schemes to upgrade the agricultural scene in Kashmir. He said that the mechanization in agriculture has remained a key in the doubling of farmers’ income.
Earlier, the Advisor, who was also chief guest on the occasion, inspected different stalls put up at the Mela to showcase the different agricultural and its allied departments’ products and activities.
The Advisor inspected stalls of vermin-compost model unit, hybrid crops, button mushroom, seed production, fertilizer, orgainc, farm machinery, soil testing laboratory equipments, terrace farming, soil erosion model, scented herbs and plants stall like Salvia, Aster, Dahlia, Antirrhinum, Zinnia, organic model village, etc. He also inspected the stalls put up by several female entrepreneurs and also held interaction with the young entrepreneurs.
On the occasion, the Advisor was briefed about the importance of the Mela in making the people especially farmers of the district aware about the Government schemes, latest technology and good practices for progressive farming to boost their production.
The Advisor was told that Budgam district is self-sufficient in vegetable production, besides exporting large quantities of veggies to other districts of Kashmir.
Later, the Advisor released two booklets ‘Munfarid Zaraiy Hidayaat’ and ‘Studying Document on Doubling Farmers Income by 2022 in Kashmir Division.’
Chief Agriculture Officer, Shabir Ahmed Allaqband and other concerned were also present on the occasion.