Union minister for agriculture Radha Mohan Singh called on chief minister Omar Abdullah here on Sunday and discussed various matters related to the development of agriculture in Jammu and Kashmir.
The focus in the meeting was on the establishment of horticulture university for the state where there is more than 3.55 lakh hectares of land under orchards with an annual production of 21 lakh tonnes of fruit.
Matters relating to the revival of old orchards and procurement of ready to use soil testing labs were also discussed in the meeting.
It was stated that more than 40000 hectares of land under apple cultivation and 5000 hectares under almonds have become senile and require rejuvenation and re-plantation.
An amount of Rs 20 crore will be required for bringing 1000 hectare per year under rejuvenation programme. The old orchards have an average productivity of 1.5 to 2 tonnes at present but once rejuvenated will yield 5 to 11 tonnes per hectare every year after 5 to 15 years. The state government sought support of the union agriculture ministry in this regard. It also sought support for procurement of ready to use soil testing labs which can be put to use immediately.