Orchard plantation fast becoming a favorite among Jammu and Kashmir farmers

June 15th, 2009 - 7:01 pm ICT by ANI  

Srinagar, June 15 (ANI): In a bid to harness more profits from agriculture, farmers in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir have taken to orchard plantation.

Earlier, farmers grew traditional crops like wheat, pulses and lentils, and they earned little profit on their produce.

Now, they have started planting orchards of fruits like Litchi, pears and orange. The farmers are confident to get a good yield since soil in the region is fertile and the weather conducive for orchard plantation.

“Earlier, we used to cultivate wheat, pulses and other traditional crops but the return was not good. Since we have proper irrigation facilities here so we thought of orchard farming. I have planted orchards of litchi and orange respectively. Now we are fetching good returns for our produce,” said Satish Singh Damwal, an orchard owner.

Since majority of local population is dependent on horticulture, the state government is providing various facilities and financial incentives to farmers.

The government has devised a specialized programme like, Agriculture Export Zones and Technology Mission, to boost the plantation of low-volume-high-cost varieties of fruits in different regions of the state.

The programme is aimed at providing necessary training to farmers regarding land preparation, grafting and budding, pest and disease control, besides providing various financial incentives.

“Farmers want to involve in horticulture, they want to know about various government schemes, particularly about technology mission programme of the government which provides lot of facilities to farmers. Besides providing guidance regarding plantation, the government will provide an incentive of 100 thousand rupees to the farmers who will construct a water tank of 300 cubic centimeters,” said J L Raina, Chief Horticulture Officer, Kathua.

The horticultural sector forms the backbone of the Jammu and Kashmir’s economy, which is known for producing a wide variety of fruits and flowers. The sector provides employment to approximately 2.5 million people. (ANI)

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