Exploring the possibilities for growing mushroom, honey, cocoon at Gurez

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*20 colonies of bees have been established in Gurez

*Around 400 kilos of honey was harvested from them

*250 hectares are under potato seed tuber cultivation

*Another 320 hectares are under potato cultivation under BADP

* The average yield ranges from 10-12 quintals per kanal.

*In 40 kanals Ismarg farm, 429 quintals of potatoes were produced

*1069 hectares are cultivable are in Gurez out of which 528 hectares are irrigated

Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Hassan Mir who was on a visit to Gurez and Tulail vallies has directed the officers of Agriculture and allied departments to look into the possibilities of growing mushroom, honey, cocoon, zeera and other cash crops. This he said while interacting with local farmers and officers of these departments.

Mir was told that the place is ideal for growing cash crops and medicinal plants.

The Minister underscored the need for growing cash crops in view of the limited agricultural season and limited irrigated area.

He said he would direct the Sericulture department. to distribute shahtoosh saplings among farmers of the area. He announced that if any farmer wishes to plant 300 or more plants, entire saplings would be given free to him plus a cash incentive of Rs. 2200. He said this year cocoon produce received a good market support with per kilo cost ranging upto Rs. 490. He said additionally the Govt. would provide necessary infrastructure support including tin sheets for processing cocoons.

The Minister was told that 20 colonies of bees have been established in Gurez and around 400 kilos of honey was harvested from them.

During his visit to Ismarg, Bugtor, Budugam, Dawar, the Minister was apprised about the agricultural activities in these areas. He was told that varieties like Kufri, Gulmarg, Badshah, and Chipsona (grown to produce potatoes for waffers exclusively) are grown here.

The Minister was told that cultivation of potatoes and maize are the major agricultural activities in the area. The Minister directed distribution of green houses among farmers from this on priority so that they can extend their agricultural activities beyond the present schedule.

Pertinently, 250 hectares are under potato seed tuber cultivation and another 320 hectares are under potato cultivation under Border Area Development Programme. The average yield ranges from 10-12 quintals per kanal. In the Ismarg farm alone spread over 40 kanals, 429 quintals of potatoes were produced last year.

1069 hectares are cultivable are in Gurez out of which 528 hectares are irrigated and rest is rainfed. The Minister during his visit also took an assessment of losses to crops due to drought like situation prevailing during this summer.

Minister of State, Javid Ahmad Dar, MLA, Nazir Gurezi, Principal Secretary, Agriculture, Mrs. Sonali Kumar, Director Agriculture, Mr. B. A. Dar, Joint Director, Mr. I. B. Bhat and other officers accompanied the Minister during his visit.

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