Budgam became the third region in Kashmir to cultivate bamboo under the National Bamboo Mission after Jammu and Kashmir Agriculture Minister G. H. Mir planted a bamboo sapling at a Kariparoo nursery on Monday.

Mr. Mir said bamboo cultivation was going in Teetwal and Uri areas of North Kashmir and there was a need to popularise bamboo cultivation, particularly in the wastelands.

Stressing on the need to involve the private sector in bamboo cultivation, the agriculture minister said it was a highly commercial industry, which, besides preventing the soil erosion, could become an alternate source of employment.

He said the timber obtained from bamboo could be used to manufacture handicraft goods, furniture fencings, green horse structures and irrigation pipes.

Mr. Mir said that since 70 per cent of the population was affiliated with the agriculture sector, farmer-friendly schemes were needed to boost crop production and develop agriculture as major source of income.

He said latest techniques were being introduced to benefit farmers by ensuring highly productive seeds. The Minister also spoke of the need to revive saffron production in the state, for which the government had earmarked Rs. 375 crore under the Saffron National Mission.

The Minister appealed to people to not construct any structure on agriculture land and use it only for cultivation.