Srinagar: The Director Agriculture Kashmir, Chowdhary Mohammad Iqbal Friday visited India International Kashmir Saffron Trade Centre (IIKSTC) Dussu Pampore and held an interaction session with the members of Saffron Farmers Produce Organizations (FPOs).
Speaking on the occasion, the Director said that during recent times the saffron sector has covered a long distance viz-a-viz cultivation, production, GI Tagging, marketing etc but still there is a long way to cover. He highlighted the importance of coordinated efforts of all the stakeholders including saffron farmers, traders, Agriculture Department for the development of saffron sector.
Iqbal said that the Department has already taken a number of initiatives and interventions for the strengthening of the saffron sector. He marked some steps taken for the branding and marketing of GI Tagged Kashmiri saffron at national and international platforms.
Director reiterated the scope and importance of FPOs and asked for more such FPOs so that more and more saffron growers could benefit from the Departmental schemes and programs.
Later, the Director visited flood hit vegetable cluster Wanigund Kulgam. He visited different affected villages of the district and took stock of the damages caused by the recent heavy rainfall to agriculture crops.
He interacted with the affected farmers and directed concerned Chief Agriculture Officers to constitute crop damage assessment teams for the affected areas.
Director asked the affected farmers to strictly follow the guidance provided by the extension wing of the department. He impressed upon the concerned officers and the officials to work in close coordination with the affected farmer families and extend their moral support to them so that the impact of the situation could be minimised.
Director Agriculture was accompanied by Deputy Director Planning Mohammad YounisChowdhary, and other senior officers of the Department.