Kashmir: J&K launches Rs 879 Cr project to minimize post-harvest losses; 20L farmers to be benefitted

IOK - Indian Occupied Kashmir Jammu & Kashmir

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir government has launched Rs 879.75 crore project to minimize post-harvest losses and double farmers’ income.

Post-harvest losses in Jammu and Kashmir are generally in the range of 15-20 percent.

`Food processing and development of clusters for specific products of Jammu and Kashmir’ will help in minimizing post-harvest losses and increase farmers’ income.

Jammu and Kashmir government has earmarked a budget of Rs Rs .879.75 crore including UT’s grant in aid of 293.25 Cr (33.33%) and a debt-equity of Rs 586.50 crore.

Under this project, the government will handle 20 Lakh MT of produce in the next five years.

“In J&K 20% of the total fruit produced gets wasted due to non-availability of packaging and processing facilities and mismatch between production and post-harvest management. Moreover, the post-harvest losses generally ranging from 15-20% are largely due to inadequate infrastructure, poor storage, transportation, electricity, marketing support, and limited brand strength,” said the project document accessed by The Kashmir Monitor.

It said that the administration will exclusively work on components including value addition, logistics, marketing, and branding of the horticulture produce.

“J&K has inadequate infrastructure for processing and value addition, hence full benefits of clusterization cannot be realized. The government will focus on interventions in post-harvest management and value-addition verticals for the identified products. Interventions are also brought in logistics, marketing, and branding vertical,” the document said.

Under this project, over 20 lakh farmers will be benefitted as revenue generation will increase to Rs. 1436.04 crore in four years.

The government will identify seven products in clusters including mini cherry clusters in 17 districts of the union territory.

“In the next five years, Jammu and Kashmir will have a dynamic food processing, Food packaging, and storage infrastructure. Services including farm-level logistics and transportation, marketing infrastructure, and cluster branding are being incorporated,” it said.

Shafat Sultan, Managing Director of Jammu and Kashmir Horticultural Produce Marketing and Processing Corporation (JKHPMC) told The Kashmir Monitor the project will transform the horticulture sector.

“This project will focus on post-harvest management, branding, and marketing, which are essential for the development of the horticulture sector. The losses have been because we didn’t have robust and substantial processing facilities. Processing facilities and infrastructure will come up, which will benefit the stakeholders at large,” he said.__The Kashmir Monitor