Secretary Agriculture/Horticulture reviews export of apricots, apples, sea-buckthorn, and agri produce outside Ladakh
Leh, December 23: Secretary, Agriculture/Horticulture, Sh. Ravinder Kumar, IAS, chaired an important meeting to review the export of Agriculture and Horticulture produce outside UT Ladakh.
In the meeting, a joint action plan for the area expansion and improvement of the production of indigenous plants and fruits, including apricots, apples, and sea-buckthorn, and agriculture produce were discussed. Additionally, prospects for the export of buckwheat, vegetables, and pulses were also taken into consideration.
The officials of the concerned department briefed the Secretary on the challenges in the process of production, including codling moths that degrade the quality of apples, the need for drip irrigation, biofertilizers, and more. Speaking on the issue of codling moths, the Secretary directed that orchard sanitisation would be crucial while dealing with the problem which could otherwise negatively impact the export plans and affect brand values in the future.
The Secretary reiterated that Ladakh has the potential to become a major player in the export of quality products and asked the officials and entrepreneurs to develop a Strategic Action Plan within a week to help discern the areas where immediate action is required. He also urged the officials to resolve the issues submitted and raised by the entrepreneurs and exporters in the meeting on an urgent basis and conduct mass awareness campaigns and training programmes.
The entrepreneurs apprised the Secretary about their challenges with regard to export produce, such as the need for a ‘Letter of Introduction’ from the concerned departments for a better approach in the market besides subsidy schemes for cargo, tools and tackles such as customised crates, baskets, pruning tools, support and guidance in getting Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and organic certification for better branding and marketing.
They expressed their gratitude for involving all the local stakeholders in formulating the plan and robust roadmap for entrepreneurial endeavours with full transparency and support of the government.
Concluding the meeting, Secretary, Ravinder Kumar lauded the officials for their hard work and progress in all sectors of agriculture and horticulture. He directed the officials to develop an annual calendar on export along with subsidies on the export of agriculture and horticulture products.
Later, the secretary also paid a visit to the DIHAR where he inspected the greenhouses and other research activities being conducted by the institution.
The meeting was attended by Directors and senior officials of Agriculture, Horticulture, DRDO, SKUAST, Entrepreneurs of Agriculture and Horticulture from Leh and Kargil.