Srinagar, July 19: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today addressed the valedictory session of multi-stakeholder convention on holistic development of agriculture & allied sectors in J&K, at SKICC Srinagar.
Appreciating the organisers for the historic convention, the Lt Governor said that such efforts will deepen our understanding on critical gaps and steps required for transforming and rejuvenating the main pillar of our economy.
Deliberations among eminent agricultural scientists, policy planners, policy makers, academia and farmers will lead to the formulation of a futuristic roadmap for rapid growth in agriculture and allied sector, the Lt Governor added.
The Lt Governor noted that the UT’s Agriculture & allied sector was performing much below its potential in recent years. J&K administration took several measures to reverse the declining trend by filling credit gaps, diversification, high-density plantation, building storage capacity, market linkages and extension services, he added.
Agriculture growth last year was recorded at 3.9% and food processing at 11.18%. However, we have a huge number of small and marginal farmers who need financial support and benefits of the central & UT schemes, and handholding to meet the challenges, observed the Lt Governor.
Noting that the allied activities contribute more than 15% in total farm income, the Lt Governor said that the Dairy, Livestock, Poultry & Fisheries can become engines of high growth, and emphasized the need to make massive efforts for creating awareness amongst the farmers to tap its tremendous potential and benefit from several schemes of the centre and UT.
In the last two years, we have come out with a viable strategy to achieve the historic task of ensuring higher incomes to our farmers. We have overcome several hurdles to sustain a higher rate of agriculture & allied sectors growth and made it more equitable and inclusive, said the Lt Governor.
Under the guidance of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, we are working relentlessly for the welfare of the farmers, especially extending handholding to Small and Marginal Farmers. A large population which was deprived of progress and prosperity for decades is now getting equal opportunities and equal rights, the Lt Governor added.
The Lt Governor urged the high-powered committee of agricultural scientists being constituted under the chairmanship of renowned scientist, Dr. Mangala Rai, to prepare a futuristic blueprint which can be implemented in the next three years.
The Lt Governor highlighted the steps taken to exploit untapped opportunities offered by horticulture and ensuring end-to-end approach from plantation to post-harvest management and processing to marketing in order to increase the quality production and exports.
Transformation in the agriculture & allied sector is not just about productivity but also about food security, empowerment of farmers and prosperity of small farming families. The government is determined to translate the benefits of growth into the financial security of farmers, the Lt Governor said.
UT Government is providing as many benefits to the agriculture sector as available to those in the manufacturing sector, like, easy access to credit, infrastructure, pre and post harvest facilities, covering risks & uncertainties and various interventions and schemes for the benefit of farmers, he added.
He also asked the NAFED to speed up the high density plantations in order to achieve the set target of 5500 hectares of high density cultivated within the stipulated time frame.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, called for working out realistic plans and making committed efforts for doubling the economy of J&K in the next five years.
He further stressed on effective utilization of assets and exploring vast possibilities and opportunities in the sector to add Rs 50,000 cr in Agriculture & allied sectors in the coming years.
Dr Mangala Rai, former DG ICAR emphasized the need to have a clear vision, adopting bottom-up approach, focusing on resource planning, policy interventions, formulating district level plans, and inviting suggestions from experts, farmers and other stakeholders as a way forward to achieve tangible results on ground.
He further advised for taking efficiency-mediated sustainable productivity and profitability enhancement measures.
Sh Atal Dulloo, Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture Production Department, in his address, informed about the inputs received from the experts, scientists, progressive farmers during the convention regarding proposed interventions, policy planning, formulation of plans, besides constitution of working groups for preparing a roadmap to facilitate the growth trajectory of agriculture & allied sectors in J&K.
Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai, Vice-Chancellor, SKUAST Kashmir gave a detailed presentation on Rethinking Agriculture in J&K, policy recommendations covering various important aspects of agriculture & allied sectors.
Prof. J P Sharma, Vice-Chancellor SKUAST, Jammu highlighted the learning outcomes achieved from the deliberations held during the two-day long convention on holistic development of agriculture & allied sectors in J&K.
Dr. U S Awasthi, Managing Director, IFFCO, also shared his experience in the sector.
On the occasion, the Lt Governor inaugurated a weekly documentary programme on success stories in agriculture and allied sectors “Nothing Succeeds like Success”.
Sh. Abdul Hamid Wani, Secretary J&K Advisory Board for Development of Kisans highlighted the objective behind the weekly documentary programme – an initiative of DD Kashir in collaboration with J&K Advisory Board for Development of Kisans.
Eminent agricultural scientists, experts, policy makers, academia, progressive farmers, besides HoDs, members of J&K Advisory Board for Development of Kisans, senior officials, and prominent citizens from all walks of life attended the valedictory session.