Department of Horticulture on Wednesday organized a mega awareness/training camp at Town Hall Handwara. This was 7th such camp organized by Department to reach out to the farmers under the banner “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”.

Director General Horticulture Kashmir Ajaz Ahmad Bhat (JKAS) was the Chief Guest of the function. Besides Department of Horticulture other line departments viz. Kisan Vikas Kendra Kupwara, Horticulture (P&M), also participated in the camp. Chairman Municipal Committee Handwara, Masroor Ahmad also participated in the camp. The camp was attended by a large number of progressive orchardists.

The main purpose of the training/awareness camp was to aware the farmers about the different departmental Schemes in vogue particularly newly launched Modified High Density Plantation Scheme. 

At the beginning of the function Chief Horticulture Officer Kupwara Farooq Ahmad Tantray, welcomed the Director General and other participants to the camp. He then highlighted the present scenario of the Horticulture sector in the district and appraised the appraised the participants about various developmental schemes including Modified High-Density Plantation Scheme.

In his address, Director General Horticulture, elaborated in detail the incentives available under the various central and UT sponsored schemes of the department viz. MIDH, PMDP, SMAM, PMKSY, CAPEX etc. Kupwara being a hilly district Director General advocated for special focus on drought tolerant fruits like walnut, hazelnut etc. DG Horticulture further said that the area has a great potential in horticulture particularly area expansion as there is lot fallow land available. He further instructed the Chief Horticulture Officer to provide walnut, lemon, olive, hazelnut plants to the border areas like Tangdhar, Teetwal, Keran, Machil etc. He also assured that special focus will be given to organic farming and said that vermicompost units particularly in tribal and border areas will be establish on large scale and for which additional funds will provided.

Regarding the modified High-Density Plantation Scheme, He encouraged the farmers of the area particularly marginal and small farmers to come forward and take the advantage of newly launched Scheme. He further added that shifting to High Density Plantation is the only way forward to increase the production and productivity and to compete with the international market. He also gave on spot instructions to the Chief Horticulture Officer to give vide publicity to all schemes particularly the Modified High-Density Scheme by holding awareness camp at especially in far-flung villages and blocks. 

During the day long programme an interactive question answer session was held in which most of the farmers participated and put forward their queries regarding different schemes and functioning of the Department. DG Horticulture and other experts of the Department answered the question to their utmost satisfaction.

At the end Director General thanked all the participants and said more such camps will be held in the area. Director General then distributed authorizations among the farmers for horticultural machinery like tractors, weeder, Motor Power Sprayer, Irrigation Pumps etc. He also appreciated the working of the department in the district and presented appreciation letters to best performing employees of the district.

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