Srinagar : Principal Secretary Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal and Sheep Husbandry departments, Navin Kumar Choudhary today chaired a State Level Empowered Committee (SLEC) meeting of Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) here today.The committee approved an annual action plan worth Rs 75 crore for the holistic development of Horticulture sector in Jammu and Kashmir for the year 2020-21.The meeting was attended by Secretary Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Sheetal Nanda (Member); Director Agriculture Kashmir, Aijaz Altaf Andrabi (Member), Director Horticulture Kashmir, Ajaz Ahmad Bhat (Member Secretary); Director Horticulture (P&M), Imam Din (Member) and several other member representatives from Finance, Agriculture Production, Forest, PD&MD, I&C, Cooperatives and Floriculture departments. Representatives from SKUAST-K and SKUAST-J were also present .The Principal Secretary asked the concerned departments that they should bring in the year-wise outcome oriented picture before the committee. He remarked that superficially the figures have no relevance if these are not correlated with the outcome for corresponding periods.Navin, who chairs this committee, directed the concerned departments to enhance their expenditure making capacity without compromising with the quality of results. He stressed that this mission is an umbrella development program taking in its ambit every aspect of horticultural development in J&K. He emphasized that the results should be visible on ground and benefits should reach to ground level farmers.
Chairman SLEC directed the concerned executing agencies to expedite the establishment of Centre of Excellence, Udheywalla Jammu, and ensure that available funds are utilized immediately against the works already done.Secretary RD&PR asked the officers to integrate several of the components under single head so that there is no confusion in their relevance vis-à-vis this project. She maintained that this committee should act as monitoring and guiding tool for ensuring obtaining of timely outcomes on expected lines.Director Horticulture Kashmir, who is also Mission Director, MIDH, J&K informed the meeting that J&K has a total area of 3.20 lakh Hectares of land under fruit cultivation producing 23.30 lakh Metric tons of fruit annually. He further informed that the annual turnover of Rs 8000 crore are made into the local economy by this vital sector benefitting nearly 35 lakh souls both directly and indirectly.It was revealed in the meeting that an expenditure of Rs 58.30 crore was made under this Mission with an overall achievement of 78% for the year 2019-20. The agencies that execute this Mission includes Agriculture, Horticulture, Floriculture departments and Saffron Mission.This mission as explained include components like establishment of new gardens, organic farming, creation of water resources, import of plant material, centre of excellence for Horticulture, post-harvest management, HR management, food processing etc.The mission is a centrally sponsored scheme for overall development of horticulture funded by Government of India in the ratio of 90:10. Its objective is to encourage aggregation of farmers into FPO/FIG’s, enhance productivity and skill development & creation of employment opportunities.The SLEC today reviewed progress made under previous plan and approved new action plan for 2020-21. It further sanctioned DPRs in favour of establishment of new CA stores, assistance for establishment of one banana ripening chamber and acquiring of refrigerated trucks by private partners.