Srinagar, April 28 (GNS): A divisional level single window clearance committee was held under the chairmanship of Director Industries and Commerce Kashmir wherein four projects worth Rs 67.26 crore under horticulture sector were cleared.
The meeting was attended by General Manager DIC Pulwama, representatives of PDD and PCB.
The projects include establishment of Controlled Atmosphere Stores and manufacture of concrete poles as a support system to apple orchards at IGC Lassipora and Industrial Estate Khrew respectively.
The establishment of these units will open a new era of opportunities at the level of employment generation plus being beneficial to the apple growers at large.
Presently there are 30 CA Stores with a storage capacity of 1.5 lakh metric tons. With an annual production of 1.9 million metric tons more storage capacity is required so that apples are stored and pumped in the market during off season to fetch better prices.
The meeting was informed that more such proposals are in pipeline and the storage capacity is going to increase to about 2 lakh metric tons by the year end.
Apple being an important economic asset of the valley, the post-harvest benefit to a grower becomes inevitable. The facility of Controlled Atmosphere Stores has taken a frontline in the valley with many entrepreneurs coming forward for establishing the same.
Further advances in Controlled Atmosphere Technology has a dramatic effect on apple produce logistics and has opened up the markets which earlier were unavailable for fresh and processed apple products.
Pertinently, 3 lakh apple growers across the valley are associated with this critical sector which involves around half-a-million households dominating the horticultural industry and has an important role in the economic wellbeing of Kashmir. (GNS)