Mega nursery in J&K all set to cater to local fruit growers this monsoon
STATE TIMES NEWS
Jammu: Ahead of monsoon, a mega nursery of fruit plants set up by the Jammu and Kashmir horticulture department near the India-Pakistan border fence is all set to provide saplings of guava, mango, litchi and other fruits to the local farmers from next month.
The nursery spread over 100 acres in the Chakroi area of R S Pura was inaugurated in January by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.
“It was set up in a record period of one and a half years and was inaugurated in January by the lieutenant governor. We have sown 12,000 mother plants,” district level subject specialist at the nursery Sandeep Kumar Sharma told PTI.
According to locals, the border belt has witnessed a massive transformation with majority of plants in the nursery have grown 4 to 5 feets.
“It is the biggest nursery of Jammu and Kashmir for sub-tropical plants. The capacity of this nursery is to produce 5 lakh saplings and we hope to add more to the existing capacity,” Sharma said.
The nursery has so far produced over one lakh root stocks which will be transformed into high-quality fruit plants.
The nursery has 14 diverse greenhouses, each serving a specific purpose. Among them, two state-of-the-art polygreenhouses offer cutting-edge technology, ensuring optimal conditions for plant growth, he said.
Besides, it has two insect-proof nethouses, two screen houses, four shade net houses and three naturally-ventilated polygreenhouses, he added.
The irrigation of thousands of plants in the greenhouse is being done through a computerised system using boom irrigation, drip irrigation and shower watering techniques and the entire system is managed through artificial intelligence.
Officials said that local farmers will now be able to get plants of various species from the nursery at lower costs.
All the citrus fruit plants that were earlier brought from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar will be produced locally. This will also help increase the income of local fruit growers. “We have a protected environment to produce plants throughout the year. Local farmers have got employment here. We engage local labourers too. In the days to come, it will be beneficial for farmers of Jammu division,” said Sharma.