An 'integrated pack house for apples,' a facility to grade apples electronically, is being set up at Shopian in the Kashmir region.
The cost of setting this is expected to be Rs 3.88 crore (Rs 38.8 million). The pack house would be capable of grading a truckload of apples in an hour. The waxing mechanism in the house ensures maximum durability for the apples.
Addressing the gathering on the occasion, Sayeed said, "Advanced techniques like the integrated pack house are sure to give Kashmiri horticulture produce a value for its worth."
Advising the agencies concerned to launch an awareness campaign so that the orchard-owners became aware of the benefits of the facility, the chief minister suggested setting up a quality control mechanism.
Sayeed said the government had already introduced a market intervention scheme to help the sale of Kashmiri apple in markets outside the state. He asked the fruit growers to register themselves with the government and ensure the quality of produce by maintaining a minimum quality standard.
The chief minister suggested an expansion of the fruit mandi and wanted the setting up of facilities like Internet and online connectivity, besides credit facility at the mandi.
He said Srinagar airport assuming international status next March spreads good omen for the Apple industry of the state whereby Apple from Kashmir would be transported to international market within one day only.
President of Fruit Dealers Association, Mir Mohammad Amin said the area is an Apple dependent one where about 22 thousand families are associated with growing apples.
Commissioner Secretary, Agriculture Production, Khursheed Ganai, informed that the Pack House would be capable of grading a truckload of apples in an hour.He said the waxing mechanism in the house ensures maximum shelf life for the apples, which ensures a better market availability.