Kashmir - Horticulture
Introduction: Nature has bestowed Jammu and Kashmir state with such a geographical alignment besides scenic splendor that it enjoys year round cultivation of fruits. It is located at an altitude between 32.17 to 36.58 degree above mean sea level. The climate is transitional and distinctly classified as spring, summer, autumn and winter. Accordingly, the state has been broadly classified into Temperate, Sub-tropical, Sub-temperate, Cold arid zones.
In view of the potential for development of fruit crops and management of existing orchards Department of Horticulture has a major role to play. Various schemes with a number of incentives are being provided to the fruit growers to keep them actively involved in this economically viable trade that sustained the vagaries of militancy.
- It is the sector that is embedded in rural and hilly/backward areas.
- More than 80% rural population is directly/indirectly involved in this activity.
- It is the only rural activity that has helped in elevating the poverty and increase economical status of rural masses.
- Potential areas which are generally rainfed and available in foot hills can be developed only for horticultural activity.
- Cost benefit ratio per hectare of orchard is economically acceptable.
- Each hectare of land under horticulture generates 400 man-days per year.
- Horticulture is eco-friendly and is now a major sector helping in eco-restoration and plantation of degraded forests.
- Horticultural crops help in checking the soil erosion.
For uniform development of Horticulture in both the divisions of state, department of Horticulture, J&K was bifurcated into two Directorates, that is, Kashmir/Jammu from 20-05-2004 .
The state of J&K has a distinction for production of various types of temperate fruits both quantity and quality. The Fruit Industry is playing the role of backbone of State economy. The Industry provides direct and indirect job to about 35% population. With the increase in the production the industry faced marketing challenges. In order to meet the demand of the industry and to increase the share of the producer in the consumer rupee the Department of Horticulture Planning & Marketing was established during the year 1972 with the following objectives:
- To advise and assist in the formulation of Development plans of the horticulture sector
- To organize promotion and publicity for better marketing of fruits and vegetables
- To provide market intelligence and information to the fruit and vegetable growers and those involved in the trade and distribution of these commodities
- To conduct or get conducted economic and market studies relating to production distribution and, utilization of horticultural produce
- To coordinate efforts for providing facilities at different dispatch, distribution and marketing centers.
- To supervise and regulate the grading and packing
of horticulture produce
- To assess and solve problems involved in the marketing, distribution and utilization of horticultural produce and
- To organize and supervise Fruit Growers Cooperative Marketing and Processing Societies.