Mission & Strategies
The state of Jammu and Kashmir is located in North-Western past of Indian republic and lies between 32-17’ and 37-5’ North latitude and 73-26’ and 80-30’ East longitude and holds an almost central position in the continent of Asia. The total geographical area of the State is 222.23 lakh square Kilometers, which is 6.74% of the total area of the country. Out of which 78114 sq. Kilometers is under illegal occupation of Pakistan and 42735 sq. Kilometers under China. The state comprises of three administrative regions i.e. Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. The total geographical area of Jammu Division is 26293 sq. kilometres out of which net sown area is 4.02 lac Ha. The Division has varied agro-climatic conditions ranging from sub-tropical to intermediate and temperate to sub-temperate. It is due to such status there is horticultural diversity.
Main focus of the Department of Horticulture
- Area Expansion by promoting area specific plantations.
- Improving productivity, quality and shift towards high density plantation.
- Production of quality planting material.
- Canopy Management and rejuvenation of old and senile orchards
- Hi- tech Horticulture and establishment of high tech nurseries.
- Disease and Pest Management by intervention of IPM and INM
- Soil health management
- To Increase water use efficiency by promoting micro irrigation.
To achieve this, multi pronged strategy has been developed by the department.
An estimated area of 1.23 lakh Hectare is presently under Horticulture Crops in Jammu Division with recently assessed estimated production of 3.14 lakh MTs in various districts. Still there is nearly 1.50 lakh area of potential to be covered under Horticulture crops. The focus is to make fruit growers aware to adopt Horticulture as their main stay for their livelihood as the return from this sector meets the financial needs of the growers.
In districts like Jammu as a whole, Samba and plain parts of Kathua, Udhampur, Reasi, Rajouri etc, sub tropical fruits are being encouraged on commercial lines, like Mango, Litchi, Guava and all types of citrus fruits. These crops are generally harvested late in the division as compared to the other states due to variation in agro-climatic conditions. Rainy season plantation is encouraged in ‘Kandi’ areas to achieve more survival percentage of plantation which is low and where irrigation sources are created/are available survival percentage is quite encouraging.
In sub-tropical area which are mostly rainfed, farmers are advised to take up Aonla, Phalsa, Citrus and Guava fruits and where ever irrigation is available other crops like Litchi and Mango are promoted. Litchi crop has edge over Mango as it bears regularly and fetches more income.
The department has encouraged the growers for plantations in clusters, with minimum area of 01 Ha. which is further integrated with other components like creation of water sources,
vermicompost and mechanization to reduce the production cost. In some Districts cluster plantation has been done with integration of water sources and micro irrigation facilities have been given to the farmers.
In temperate and semi temperate areas of the Jammu division, where the plantation is done during Spring season and fruits like Apple, Walnut, Pear, Peach, Plum, Apricot are encouraged under normal spacing as well as high density plantations. In lower areas of Poonch, Rajouri and Kathua Districts, low chilling varieties of Apple are recommended. In temperate areas thrust is being given for the cultivation of dry and fresh fruits in the ratio of 70 : 30. This is done to meet the challenges due to the tough terrain since these areas are far away and mostly remain cut off by road. During harvesting time the fresh fruit do not find their place in market resulting in either low return to the produce or damage during transport. This makes the grower to go for the walnut crop which has shown tremendous increase in price and will raise the income of the farmers.
Besides this, high value crops like strawberry, olive and pecan nuts have been encouraged for plantation and farmers are showing good response. Strawberry is grown in Jammu, Samba, Kathua and Udhampur district and farmers earn a handsome amount upto Rs. 30,000/- per kanal during its season. Olive has been encouraged in Doda and Ramban districts and Department also facilitate, the extraction of Olive oil which is generally Virgin in nature and is consumed in local market.
With ever increasing demand of the fruits and competition being faced in Local, National and International Markets for various fruits, impetus is being given for the high density plantation. The High density Plantations is being encouraged for Apple and Mango. The plant material is being brought from elite institutions like CITH- Srinagar , SKUAST-K . PAU and CISH- Lucknow. The high density plantations will increase the productivity of the fruits.
The Department has mandate to produce the good quality planting material. The Department has targeted to produce 4.40 lakh plants per annum vegetatively in Departmental Nurseries, and in this regard progeny plants are being planted in the nurseries to serve as bud wood banks. In Departmental Nurseries necessary infrastructure has been planned to facilitate production of High Quality planting Material under open and protected conditions throughout the year. The latest varieties have been introduced from advanced stations for introduction in our state. Green Houses have been established to strengthen the nurseries. NHB and SKUAST-J is being consulted regularly for their expert views regarding strengthening of the nurseries for production of plant material. The practice to produce plant material from perennial seed is being discouraged and grafted plants are being encouraged for the area expansion programmes. The vegetatively propagated plant starts bearing earlier than the seedling origin fruit plant. The quality of the fruit is desirable and true to type of that of mother plant. This will result into increase in productivity in short span.
Canopy Management of traditional orchards is being promoted at farmers field. These technologies are being implemented in the farmers field by involving farmers themselves. Modules for Training and Pruning are being demonstrated in sub tropical areas. Phasing out of old / senile orchards with improved varieties is being taken up. Demonstrations have been laid in collaboration with SKUAST-J.
Special focus is being given for promotion of Organic Farming. IPM/INM activities are being actively implemented to supplement the plant and soil health. Vermi compost units are being established and made operational so that organic manure is produced at farmers level. Third Party Certification by USOCA has been initiated and registration of the clusters has begun. Under MIDH Establishment of Disease forecasting labs and Bio control lab has already been taken up in collaboration of SKUAST-J, which will serve the department as well as the farming community in the years to come.
To achieve success the department is working on following lines :
- Approved Plan is communicated to the districts for its further execution at block level. As per the Govt Order No 151 Agri of 2012 Dated 05-06-2012 this department is fully involving PRI’s in all the developmental programmes/activities. All the programmes are implemented in consultation with PRIs. Plans implemented in the district comprise the activities taken up as per the potential available in that particular zone/block.
- Variation in the agro climatic conditions across the division requires efficient planning right from its formulation. The exercise for formulation of the plan starts from the requisition at block level and consolidated at district level. Since most of the Horticulture activities are seasonal they are to be taken up in a time bound manner otherwise the activity at ground level cannot be achieved fully as most of areas especially in temperate and sub temperate zones have limited working period.
- The field functionaries have been sensitized to take up the activities in time bound and on fast track mode. The requisition for executing the activities are prioritized on first come first serve basis only after consultation with PRIs in the regularly held PRI meeting by the field functionaries.
- Applications fully recommended by Public representatives /PRIs for availing the assistance under different components of CSS are submitted by the beneficiaries to the concerned Horticulture Development Officers. The HDOs scrutinize the documents and also check the feasibility for the activity to be carried out and advises the beneficiaries for completing remaining formalities if any.
- Since most of the activities under various schemes and programmes are implemented with farmers participation and fixed norms as per the guidelines, the beneficiary is made to understand the implementation part and his participation in the programme. The strategy involved is to select and encourage only interested beneficiaries who can participate fully and without any hesitation. The applications are further submitted to the respective Chief Horticulture Officers for accord of necessary approval as per allotted targets. Department has already directed the field functionaries to implement the programme with beneficiaries participation and to facilitate the beneficiaries for arranging various inputs from only authorised and certified sources.
- The field functionaries after completion of activity, physically certifies that the activity has been done as per laid norms of guidelines of the scheme. The Chief Horticulture Officers after their satisfaction release the assistance in favour of beneficiary in shape of cheque/online transaction. In this regard, necessary instructions already stands communicated to the executing agencies.
- Major interventions like canopy management, top working, Rejuvenation are being promoted and propagated widely in the mass awareness camps held at the block level. In the awareness programmes dissemination of the developmental schemes form an integral part of programme and the farmers are cleared of any doubts regarding smooth execution of the programmes.