Chennai/Srinagar, Jan 12: Jammu and Kashmir is working out a multi-pronged strategy to reach its honey, jams, saffron, dry fruits and other products to a wider market, a top company official has said.
The Rs.50 crore turnover J&K State Agro Industries Development Corporation Ltd, a 51:49 joint venture between the state and central governments, is planning to open outlets in airports and railway stations in major cities, sign up with distributors and beefing up its marketing department, the official said.
Toward this end, the company held organised a travel and tour exhibition here to showcase the state and its products.
"Our plan is to position our product in all the major markets in the country. We are in the process of signing up distributors in these places. We have distributors in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Delhi," company managing director Abdul Majid Bhat told IANS over the phone from Srinagar.
According to him, the company has a cold storage in Delhi.
"We are also beefing up our marketing department by hiring professional talent," Bhat added.
Asked about the upgradation of the company's jam plant, Bhat said the Rs.25 crore project would be completed by next year.
The plant will be in conformity with HACCP (hazard, analysis and critical control points) principles so that the export market can be looked into.
The company would look at introducing jams made with honey and saffron infused mulberry jam, Bhat added.
"We are the only one in India to make mulberry jam. We also make cherry, strawberry, fig and other jam varieties. We have revamped our packaging in line with the market trends," assistant manager Adnan Ashraf, who was in Chennai for the exhibition, told IANS.
The Britain-returned management graduate is one of the professionals that the company has hired in recent times to take it forward.
According to Ashraf, the company is planning to apply for organic label for its honey.
"Our honey is from flowers like acacia, sulli and other wild flowers in high altitudes of Himalayas. Most of our market for honey is concentrated in Delhi, Haryana, and Mumbai. We are now looking at broad-basing our market," Ashraf said.
"The times have changed for better and we are hoping to close this fiscal with a turnover of Rs.65 crore. The company is profitable. South India a major market for our saffron. We supply 200 kg of A-grade saffron to the famed Guruvayoor temple," Bhat said.
The company has also signed up with the state tourism department to enable tourists view the processing of honey and the harvesting of chestnuts, lotus and other products.