Jammu: “Production of food crops like Potato, Maize and Wheat matching quality parameters of big food chains and food processing units should be promoted for better marketing and high returns to the farmers” stated Principal Secretary Agriculture Production & Farmers Welfare, Navin Kumar Choudhary, during his visit to the field of progressive potato grower, Basant Singh Sani at Arnia who has grown 25 acre of Lady Rosetta variety of Potato used in making of Potato Chips.
Director Agriculture Production & Farmer’s Welfare Jammu, Inder Jeet, Director Horticulture, Jammu, Ram Savak, Director Horticulture Planning & Marketing, Imam Din, CAO Jammu, S A S Reen besides other senior officers of line departments accompanied the Principal Secretary during his visit to Arnia, Kotli Mian Fateh, Bishnah and Maralian.
Principal Secretary, while addressing farmers at Arnia, outlined that purpose of such efforts is to encourage the farmers to produce raw material of international standards meeting the requirements of big food chains. He informed that Potato L R variety is crispy, suger free and high yielding best suited to meet the raw material needs of Jammu based Potato chips industry. This is a win win situation in which farmers will get better returns of their produce and industrialists will get cheaper raw material as earlier required potatoes were being procured from outside the UT, he added.
CO Packer Entrepreneur for Haldi Ram at Bari Brahmana Jammu, S. Tripat Singh, who was also present on the occasion, assured to procure the potato produce at remunerative price and cut down the imports from outside the UT.
Interacting with the farmers, Principal Secretary asked for formation of Potato Farmers Producers organization (PFPO) which will be beneficial in providing much needed market linkages to farmers. He further maintained that Department is committed to establish Farm Machinery Bank for full mechanization of Potato cultivation so that during next season more than 400 acre of land can be covered under L R Variety of Potato.
He also emphasised to complete the registration of all basmati growers at the earliest so as to create a data bank for scientific planning towards better production and export of basmati. Moreover, he stressed on organic cultivation of vegetables and impressed upon the concerned to provide every support for exporting the agri produce outside UT.
The farmers of Border area raised various issues and demanded preference in supply of subsidised farm machinery and irrigation facilities for which Principal Secretary issued on spot instructions.
While inspecting the Potato Seed Production Farm, Kotali Mian Fateh spread over 19 acre, he instructed the concerned officers to go for plantation of fruit plants on the boundary line of the farm. He fixed the target of 1000 acre of potato cultivation in clusters during next year.
It was given out that production of 800 quintals of Potato is expected this year from the farm.
Potato Development Officer, Y.S. Sasan, SDAO R.S. Pura, N. P. Singh, Farm Manager, Dheeraj Khajuria besides others were also present.
Earlier, Navin Choudhary inspected Horticultural Produce and Marketing Mandi at Bisnah where he directed the concerned officials to work for its better functioning by providing better marketing facilities.
Meanwhile, Principal Secretary also inaugurated Departmental Facilitation Centre cum Sale Counter at Government Fruit Plant Nursery of Horticulture Department at Maralia where Director Horticulture briefed him that this is 24th Facilitation Centre of Horticulture Department in Jammu division. About 23 Facilitation centres are already working in all the districts of Jammu Division with an aim to facilitate fruit growers by making available Fruit plants and value added products at subsidised rates besides providing platform for fruit growers to sell their produce in the centres.