In Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Territory Administration today signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED), an apex organization of marketing cooperatives for agricultural produce.
AIR Correspondent reports that the MoU is seen as a game changer for the Horticulture sector in the Union Territory. High Density plantation of Apple, Walnut, Cherry, Flowers etc has potential to increase the income of farmers by three to four times. After signing of the MoU, NAFED to cover 5,500 Hectares at a cost of Rs 1,700 crore in the next five years with major focus on Apple, Walnut, Cherry, Pear and other significant horticulture products.
NAFED will also set up 20 Farmer-Producer Organizations, one in each district, in the next three months. The NAFED will set up three cold storage clusters, one each in North Kashmir, South Kashmir and Kathua at a cost of Rs 500 crore, besides ensuring Geographical Indications tags (GI Tags) for all premium/niche horticulture produce, branding and marketing of fruit crops like Apple, Walnut, Cherry, Olive, Litchi etc.
The MoU was signed by Principal Secretary of Agriculture and Horticulture Department, J&K Navin Kumar Choudhary and Managing Director of NAFED Sanjeev Kumar Chadha in presence of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha. The Lt. Governor observed that the Administration is tirelessly working on four issues that are being addressed on priority – increasing productivity through intervention of technology, ensuring best price and market support, mitigation of risks and diversification through allied activities.
He said that Horticulture produce of Jammu division will be given a major push for marketing and NAFED will also look into the possibility of high density plantation of Apple in Kishtwar and Bhaderwah.