Advisor Umang Narula charts Sea buckthorn roadmap in Ladakh. Apex committee to be constituted for Sea buckthorn development

Leh, Sep 24:  A high level meeting chaired by Advisor to LG Ladakh, Umang Narula regarding production and value addition of Sea buckthorn was held.

The meeting was attended by Commissioner/Secretary Agriculture, Horticulture Department  Ladakh, Secretary Industries & Commerce Department Ladakh, Secretary, Cooperatives Department Ladakh, Deputy Commissioner, Leh/Kargil, Director, Industries & Commerce Ladakh, Director Horticulture Ladakh, Director DIHAR  and district level officers of Industries, horticulture & Cooperatives, department.

Secretary Industries & Commerce Ladakh, Saugat Biswas gave a detailed presentation regarding Sea buckthorn: Value & Financial Analysis and Methods to improve its harvesting. Nearly 600 MT of Sea buckthorn is being harvested in Ladakh, which is around only 5% of the total produce available in Ladakh.  The requirement of modern techniques to harvest the sea buckthorn was discussed in the meeting. Director DIHAR was assigned the work to carry out a realistic data survey to update the actual availability of sea buckthorn in Ladakh, based upon which the future interventions and plans will be formulated.

Advisor Narula stressed the Industries & Commerce Department to hold a conclave on sea buckthorn, where various companies may be invited. The Advisor stressed the Industries & Commerce Department to also explore possibilities of selling the harvest through e-market.

With the aim of increasing the harvesting of sea buckthorn by way of introduction of modern techniques, Advisor Narula urged Director DIHAR to submit a report regarding various Machinery equipments and tools used around the globe for harvesting of sea buckthorn and DIHAR based upon its study shall suggest the UT Administration the best Machinery Equipments & tools for harvesting of sea buckthorn.  Advisor Narula also stressed upon the need for an Incentive Policy by way of which latest machineries, tools and equipments may be distributed to the potential farmers at subsidized rates. The Chair directed the Horticulture Department to work upon the proposal in consultation with Industries & Commerce Department.

The Horticulture Department appraised that a project namely, “Centre of Excellence for Sea Buckthorn & temperate Fruits (like Apricot)” at Horticulture Departmental Farm Nimmo, Leh is under execution. The Advisor directed the Horticulture department to complete the project within the prescribed timeline of the project. Further the Chair directed that the plantation of sea buckthorn in the COE project should be completed by March 2021 for creation of model sea buckthorn Orchard and Nursery.

For demonstration, with the aim attract the entrepreneurs to Sea Buck thorn Industry, he directed the Horticulture department to prepare model orchards in the existing plantation areas by selecting patches of optimum size in different locations of Ladakh in consultation with DIHAR. Such orchards may be developed by creating necessary pathways etc. He further directed the Horticulture department to prepare a report which shall include the cost analysis for development of such model Orchids.

The Advisor stressed that a UT level apex committee be constituted under the Industries & Commerce department, in order to ensure that synergetic decisions are taken for promotion and development of sea buckthorn industry.

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