Jammu, Mar 7: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Monday inaugurated the five-day long ‘Kisan Mela’ at SKUAST, Jammu.
The Lt Governor also laid foundation stone for newly sanctioned faculties of Horticulture & Forestry, Agricultural Engineering and Dairy Technology.
The Lt Governor congratulated the University for bringing entrepreneurs, technocrats, policymakers and farmers from J&K, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand on a common platform. The exchange of ideas and knowledge will encourage agricultural innovation and motivate farmers to adopt productive techniques, he added.
The Lt Governor enlisted various initiatives taken by the government for the welfare of the farming community.
We are making efforts to increase productivity through infusion of traditional knowledge, modern science and technology, providing improved marketing facilities and resolving several other issues like power, irrigation, cheaper credit and rural infrastructure, the Lt Governor said.
A renewed thrust is being given to organic farming to bring about a paradigm shift in agrarian policy, rural prosperity and improving the incomes and the quality of life of the farmers, added the Lt Governor.
The Lt Governor also highlighted the farmer-centric reforms introduced by the government in the last two years to empower farmers of J&K, increasing their income manifold and making them AatmaNirbhar. The UT of J&K is now among the top five States/UTs in terms of farm income with a monthly income of Rs 18,918 per farmer, he added.
Greater diversification into high-value crops, value addition through agro-processing and market-linkages are taking our agriculture & horticulture sector to new heights and ensuring inclusive growth process. The improved air connectivity has given new boost to the horticulture sector, the Lt Governor said
The UT government is constantly striving to provide farmers with direct access to modern technologies, encouraging natural farming to improve profitability & sustainability in agriculture & allied sectors, observed the Lt Governor.
Aggressive marketing & branding of local agri-products, mechanization in Agriculture and Horticulture sector, High-Density Plantation, diversification, better quality seeds, capacity buildings, GI Tagging, expansion of banking facilities, micro-irrigation has achieved rich dividends for farmers and have brought a structural change in agriculture and horticulture sector, he added.
‘Vocal for Local’ has opened up a plethora of opportunities for everyone associated with the Agriculture & allied sectors to grow and prosper. We are also bringing National & International players on board for enhancing the knowledge expertise and providing global market linkages to J&K’s farming community, the Lt Governor further added.
The Lt Governor asked the Agriculture Universities of J&K to work on mission mode to connect more farmers with organic farming & horticulture and make them acquainted with the latest scientific know-hows.
500 enterprising farmers will be provided with handholding, knowledge-based intervention every year to harness the potential of organic produce, announced the Lt Governor.
Bridging the rural-gap is among the top priorities of the UT administration. A strong framework is being developed to increase employment and connect rural youth with the agriculture & horticulture industry. Administration will extend all possible support to the Youth involved in agricultural start-ups, the Lt Governor observed.
Special arrangements are being made to take Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana to all the farmers. We are also extending maximum financial help to the Farmer-Producer Organizations- FPO’s and exploring possibilities of micro-financing institutions to cater to the needs of the farmers of J&K, the Lt Governor said.
We have set a target to convert 5500 hectares of land into high density plantations in the next four years. Last year, we succeeded in planting apples in 320 hectares and sub-tropical fruits in 2400 hectares, he added.
The Lt Governor congratulated the Agriculture Department for achieving an additional storage capacity of one lakh metric tonnes in just 18 months time.
Meanwhile, the Lt Governor felicitated progressive farmers, entrepreneurs, media persons and meritorious students of the University.
Sh. Navin Kumar Choudhary, Principal Secretary, Department of Agriculture Production & Farmers’ welfare and Horticulture congratulated SKUAST-Jammu for getting the foundation of the new faculties laid by Hon’ble Lt Governor.
He asked the Department of Agriculture and other line departments along with the university to continue working in tandem to reach the farming community with all the facilities at the door steps.
In his welcome address, Prof. J.P. Sharma, Vice Chancellor, SKUAST-Jammu highlighted the activities of the University and said that five-day Kisan Mela-2022 on Natural and Modern technologies is focusing on demonstration and exhibition of proven and improved technologies developed by the university.
He also informed that three community Radio stations have been sanctioned one each for Samba, Reasi and Jammu district for the dissemination of improved agricultural technologies among farmers. The university has started one Kisan call centre for providing on the spot solution to the problem of farmers and has developed 20 start-ups, he added.
Exhibition of latest agri-start-ups, Kisan Goshties, workshops on basmati, bee keeping, walnut, mushroom, seed, sale of quality seed and planting material, live demonstration of new varieties, flower show, vegetable show, fruit show, animal show, agri-tourism, rural sports and farmers-scientist interaction, presentation by innovative farmers and cultural programme are the main attractions of the mela, it was informed.
Dr. S. K. Gupta, Director Extension, SKUAST-J presented the vote of thank.
The Kisan Mela-2022 is being organized in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Floriculture, Sheep Husbandry, Sericulture, Fisheries, Command Area Development, etc.
Dr. Hina Shafi Bhat, Vice Chairperson, KVIB; Prof. Bechan Lal, Vice Chancellor, Cluster University of Jammu; Dr. Manoj Dhar, Vice Chancellor, University of Jammu; Prof. Inderjeet Singh, Vice Chancellor, GADVAS University; Dr. Raghav Langer, Divisional Commissioner Jammu; Sh. Ravinder Kumar, Secretary to Ladakh Government; Sh. Shyam Bihari Gupt, Member, Kisan Samridhi Aayog; HoDs of concerned departments; faculty members of SKUAST-J, besides scores of farmers were present on the occasion.