J&K State is well known for its horticultural produce both in India and abroad. The state offers good scope for cultivation of horticultural crops, covering a variety of temperate fruits like apple, pear, peach, plum, apricot, almond, cherry and sub tropical fruits like mango, guava, citrus litchi, phalsa and Berete. Besides, medicinal and aromatic plants, floriculture, mushroom, plantation crops and vegetables are cultivated in the state. Apart from this, well known spices like saffron and black Zeera are also cultivated in some pockets of the state.
As a result, there is a perceptible change in the concept of horticulture development in the state. There are around 7 lakh families comprising of about 33 lakh people which are directly or indirectly associated with horticulture. Horticulture development is one of the thrust areas in agriculture and a number of programmes have been implemented in the past, resulting in the generation of higher incomes in the rural areas, thereby improving the quality of life in villages.
The growth of horticulture sector can be attributed to various initiatives taken by the Gol and State Govt; towards market interventions viz. establishment of fruit mandies, technological support, awareness options, publicity inputs, research extension etc.
Apple is the most important fruit. As per the horticulture census 1999-2000, about 55% of the area is covered under apple. It is also important in terms of production and provide the maximum marketable surplus. About 30% of A grade, 40% of B grade and 30% of C grade of prefalls and culled apples account for substantial quantum of around 50 thousand tonnes which needs to be exploited as raw material for processing industry. However during the current year seasonal variations coupled with floods of September 2014 resulted in loss to the horticultural industry. However, the increased production yielded some good results and our export worth Rs. 4500.00 crore is expected during 2014-15 as against Rs. 5000.00 crore during 2013.
Food processing industry offers tremendous opportunity for commercial exploitation of horticulture of the State but commercial processing is around 1 % only due to lack of post harvesting and processing facilities as well as unscientific packaging. Therefore, opportunities are open for exploiting the potential under processing, with individual, joint venture and Government efforts.
Area under Fruits in J&K State has increased from 2.95 lakh hectares in 2007-08 to 3.60 lakh hectares in 2014-15 (estimated). The production was expected to increase from 17.13 lakh MTs in 2009-10 to 22.76 lakh MTs in 2014-15 which is now unlikely to be achieved due to unexpected rains and floods of September, 2014.
Species wise Area under Horticulture
Looking to the specie-wise details of area figures under fruit for the year 2013-14, it is observed that largest area of 45.34% (161364 hectares) is occupied by apple out of total area of 355921 hectares under fruit. Walnut is the next major fruit occupying 26.86% in the overall area under fruit.
In Jammu and Kashmir State especially in Kashmir Division, horticulture plays a significant role in contributing to the development of the economy of the state. As per estimates, over 6 lac families are actively involved in horticulture sector. This sector is one of the most important employment generating sectors in the state. Year after year, there is a significant increase in area and production under horticulture crops. It is believed that production is registered without proper crop-cut estimation therefore the fluctuations in production figures need reconciliation.
The overall production of fruit for the year 2014-15 was estimated at 13.54 Lac MTs, as there has been some loss to the Horticulture crop due to low temperature caused due to unexpected rains followed by flood in some areas of the State.
Export of fruit
Export of fruit from outside State, has occupied a prominent place in trade of the State but it is showing fluctuating trend over the years. The total quantity exported for the year 2013-14 was 10.10 lakh MTs against 6.8 lakh MTs exported for the current financial year 2014-15 (ending November, 2014).
Although, the production under horticulture sector is increasing year by year but it further needs to be given focused attention to register significant growth in the export of horticulture produce outside the State. The reason for low growth in export of fruits outside the State is introduction of Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) under which "C" grade apples are procured at a support price of Rs.6 per kg. for processing into juice concentrates in the locally established juice processing units. Secondly, India is also importing fruits from foreign countries as free trade policy which is in force at the country level.
Foreign Exchange Earnings
The Government is making all efforts to promote exports from Jammu and Kashmir State. State's fruit especially dry fruits is also exported to other countries and in turn earns substantial foreign exchange. Foreign exchange earned on account of export of dry fruit viz; Almond and Walnut (in shell and kernel) during the year 2013-14 was Rs 365.25 crore.
Import of Fruits and Vegetables Fruit
Besides, producing fruit in good quantity, the state also imports fruit to supplement the growing demand on this account. The import of fruits has decreased from 2.35LMTs (2013-14) to 1.86 LMTs (2014-15) ending November, 2014.
Vegetables play a vital role to supply adequate quantity of nutrition in human diet. The per capita availability is less than the prescribed requirement of 200 gms per person per day. To address the excess demand the vegetables are imported from outside J&K. 1.99 lakh metric tones of vegetables have been imported ending Nov.2014.
Diversification towards High Value Agriculture
During the last several years, diversification of Agriculture in State towards high value commodities, i.e. fruits, vegetables and livestock products is taking place at a faster pace and is reflected in the high share of High Value Commodities (HVCs) in agricultural production in a number of districts.
Sustained economic and income growth, urbanization and globalization are fuelling rapid growth in demand for high value commodities in the State. High Value Horticulture has a comparative advantage in production and labour absorption over staple food items and thus is reckoned as an important activity for small orchard holders. Equally important, the consumption of High Value Commodities (HVCs) is on rise. In 1999, an urban consumer spent over 56% of the Food budget on high value commodities as compared to 49% in 1983. In Rural areas too, the share of high value commodities had increased from 36% to 46% during this period. The share of milk, which is the most important high value food in rural as well as urban areas has also increased, but not as fast as that of fruits and vegetables. Finally, evidence shows that by 2025, demand for fruits, vegetables, milk, egg, meat and fish would almost be doubled than that was in 2000.
Horticulture Mission for North Eastern and Himalayan States was one of the initiatives upto last financial year which had four Mini Missions but the Government of India has now restructured the scheme and integrated approach has been adopted for the development of horticulture. The new scheme known as Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) has been launched during 2014-15 this is 100% Centrally Sponsored Scheme and the financial progress achieved at State level over the years.
Financial Performance under CSS (Rs in lakhs)
(ending Jan, 2015)
During 2014-15, an allocation of Rs 6000.00 lakh was earmarked for the scheme against which Rs 1500.00 lakh have been released and expenditure ending Jan. 2015 has actually arrived at an amount of Rs. 1416.76 lakhs, and it is expected that full allocated amount will be utilized during the reference year. Tangible results are expected during 2014-15 under the various sectors of development implementing various interventions of beneficiary oriented schemes to raise the standards of livelihood parameters.
Post Harvest Management (PHM)
The horticulture crops like fruit, vegetables and flowers are perishable in nature and require special attention in their harvesting, handling, packaging, storage and processing operations. It is viewed by experts that 10% losses occur at field level, 5% during transportation, 2% during packaging, 9% at storage and 4% at processing, aggregating to 30%. Keeping in view wastages at various stages, the department is concentrating on development of post harvest infrastructure like cold storage, pack houses and intensive training programme on PHM of horticulture crops.
Plant Protection Machinery
Plant Protection Machinery is an essential component of all the programmes and plays a significant role in improving the productivity & quality of fruit. Fruit crop has a high return per hectare compared to the conventional food grain crops. The State Government is implementing various schemes to promote horticulture. To encourage the fruit growers and to promote trade, toll tax on export of fruit was abolished from 2002-03. Sprayers and pumps are provided to fruit growers on subsidized rates. The scheme envisages providing of plant protection machinery to the farmers/orchardists on subsidized costs.
Development of vegetables
The prices of the vegetables in Jammu region are high in summer due to nonavailability of local vegetables where as in Kashmir region the prices of vegetables are higher in winter season. The shortage of vegetables is experienced in urban clusters and the ministry has approved an initiative for development of vegetables and on annual plan basis adequate funding is provided for vegetable development in urban clusters during 2014-15, department had an unspent balance of Rs. 11 .11 lacs which was revalidated/utilized and an amount of Rs. 600.00 lac was approved for this initiative and Government of India has released 50% of this outlay and expenditure actually incurred arrived at an amount of Rs. 197.50 lacs (ending January 2015).
Fruit and Vegetable Mandies
Development of fruit and vegetable mandies scheme was started in Jammu and Kashmir State in the year 1997-98. For developing 36 fruit and vegetable markets, in a phased manner, at a revised cost of Rs. 205.00 crores, with a view to overcome the marketing challenges for the horticulture produce viz. vegetables and fruit, which have increased manifold over the years. In the first phase, fruit markets at Kulgam, Shopian, Handwara, Charar-i-sharief, Pulwama, Batingoo, Akhnoor-I, Udhampur and Kathua were constructed and made functional. The growers have been able to sell their produce in these markets to get better returns at their door steps, which is the prime objective of the scheme. The fruit and vegetable markets at Baramulla, Kupwara and Rajouri are under construction and near completion. In the second phase, seven* satellite markets at, Poonch, Doda, Batote, Bishnah (Samba), Zazna (Ganderbal), Akhnoor-II and Pachhar-Pulwama are under process of development. In the third phase, one terminal market at Jablipora Bijbehara will be constructed for which foundation stone has been laid by Hon'ble Chief Minister on 28/07/2013 and three satellite markets viz Leh, Kargil and Aglar Shopian will be taken for execution during current year, so as to build a complete network of markets to facilitate producers to make them sell their produce to ultimate consumers.
At present three main fruit and vegetable markets are operating with one each at Sopore,Parimpora (Srinagar) and Narwal (Jammu). These markets are being developed into main centres for collection and sales of fruit and vegetable in bulk. Terminal Market, Sopore covers the maximum Horticulture (Apple) producing areas of the State, spread over area of 372 Kanals of land, Besides, additional land measuring 90 kanals of land have been transferred to this department is under construction at an estimated cost of Rs.33.98 crore, against which an amount of Rs.17.09 crore have been spent as on 30-11-2014. The Department has launched a campaign aimed at implementing the Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation) Rules (APMR) Act in every fruit and vegetable market area in consonance with the provisions of the Act. The Act stands partially enforced in the markets of Parimpora, Sopore, Narwal, Shopian, Kulgam, Charar-i-sharief, Baramulla, Batingoo, Pulwama, Udhampur and Handwara.
Fruit Growers Co-operative Marketing Societies
The fruit growers of the State are small and marginal farmers having small holdings. The Government has set up Horticulture, Planning and Marketing Organization which helps the small fruit growers and organizes them into co-operative fold, in order to save them from the exploitation by fruit commission agents and money lenders. These societies promote direct dispatch of fruit to the markets within the country and help to regulate the supplies within limits to lessen the chances of glut controversy in the market(s). These societies also help the growers in grading and packing the fruit to save excessive damage to the product.
To provide more efficient delivery of extension services, work related to procurement and distribution of machinery, green houses etc. to the orchardists, has been taken from the Directorate of Horticulture and assigned to JK HPMC. The growers have widest varieties of machinery and equipments, as per their choice from the range of machinery/equipments, approved by the Union Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India.
Major Markets in the Country accessed
1) Azadpur Delhi, 2) Chandigarh, 3) Amritsar, 4) Jaipur, 5) Patna, 6) Kolkatta, 7) Lucknow, 8) Kanpur, 9) Agra, 10) Varanasi, 11) Mumbai, 12) Pune, 13) Bangalore 14) Indore 15) Hyderabad 16) Chennai
- Marketing of Produce - Augmenting existing markets and access to new markets;
- Use of IT in marketing;
- Establishing marketing net-work within the state;
- Improvement in grading;
- Use of modern packaging;
- Post Harvest Management and Infrastructure Development;
- Establishment of Cold Chains;
- Grading & packing houses;
- Specialized Transportation.
- Organizing Buyer-Seller Meets.
- Arrangement of Air-cooled Railway coaches for transportation of soft fruits.
- Introduction of Card Board cartons for packaging of apples
- Introduction of computerized Data dissemination facility and put-up dynamic web-site for promotion of Horticulture Marketing
- Exhibitions in all metros of the Country and other major market promotion events like Agro Tech, IITF
- Implementation of APMR Act.
- Market Intervention Scheme.
- CA Stores facility at Kolkatta
- Establishment of one additional terminal market Jablipora in South Kashmir.
- 21 F&V Satellite Markets under establishment in the State, out of which 8 Markets already made functional in Kashmir Division and 3 in Jammu Division.
- Establishing a Network of:-
- 10 Satellite Markets established at Kulgam, Shopian, Pulwama, Anantnag, Chari-Sharief, Baramulla, Handwara, Kupwara, Batingoo and Udhampur major Fruit Producing areas of the State.
- 3 Terminal Markets established at Sopore, Parimpora & Narwal.
- 9 Apni Mandi at Pacchar (Pulwama), Nunmai (Kulgam), Mari(Reasi), Mandi Poonch, Tapyal, Raya Bagala, Dyala Chak(Chadwal), Pouria(Reasi) and Gharian (Udhampur). Besides two additional Apni Mandies identified viz Tamotor Modh Kud, Khan Sahib Budgam.
- Kissan Ghar at Jammu, Delhi and Salt Lake Kolkatta.
- Multi Commodity Cold Store Kolkatta.
- The work for establishment of 10 Fruit & Vegetable Markets at Bishnah, Batote, Akhnoor-ii,Rajouri, Poonch, Doda, Zazna (Ganderbal), Aglar (Shopian), Leh and Kargil are in progress.
Employment opportunities in the Horticulture Sector
One hectare of land planted with fruit trees provides additional employment for one thousand man-days, thereby generating employment for over 6 crore man-days by planting fruit trees on 65000 hectares. Some hands assist the farmers in marketing their produces; others help in providing the seeds, the plant materials and insecticides and chemicals to the farmers so as to ensure that the plants are protected from diseases and pests; others assist in the picking/harvesting of fruit. The cultivation of fruits is labour intensive and requires a significantly higher labour force, starting from the stage of planting the trees, to the point of its marketing. The manpower requirement in the cultivation and marketing of apples as well as field crops is met by employing paid workers and even the support of family members.
Walnut Cultivation in Jammu &Kashmir
Walnut is a major dry fruit crop grown in J&K State. The Production of this crop has touched 245.38 thousand M.Tonnes in J&K. Latest techniques of walnut budding/grafting have been introduced which have helped in reducing gestation period of this crop. With assistance of APEDA, a Hi-Tech Green House has been set up at Zakura which is being used for raising budded/ grafted walnuts. Besides this, one more Hi-Tech green House has been set up at Siot, Rajouri. Walnut cultivation plays a significant role in the economic profile of the farmers living in Hilly and Backward areas, where economic condition of the people is extremely fragile.
Provision of Cold Storage in Valley
Lack of cold storage in Valley forces growers to sell produce at cheap rates. The main reason of mismatch in supply and demand is the lack of cold and controlled atmospheric storages in the valley. Government is trying to provide cold storage facilities to growers. Apple from valley has rich taste, aroma and contains high nutrient contents compared to those produced by other States. Department has encouraged the private partners to come forward and incentivizing the initiatives under private sector. According to the figures available, 400,000 tonnes of apple are ruined by the scab every year. Other diseases like alternaria, red might and powdery mildew also spoil the crop. Cold storage facilities are to be created in all the districts of the State where the fruit could be stored for a longer period for which private partners are coming forward and during 2014-15 an investment of Rs. 800.00 lacs was earmarked against which Joint Investigation Team cleared 05 projects and a subsidy/incentive of Rs. 102.00 lacs was released.