Jammu, Feb 08: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha addressed the inaugural session of the 6th J&K Agricultural Science Congress on “Diversification of Agriculture for Self-Reliant Mountain Agro-Ecology” at SKUAST Jammu on Thursday.
The Lt Governor welcomed the eminent scientists and researchers from across the country in the three-day conference.
He said the exchange of ideas and discussions among the experts on critical aspects of alternative agriculture systems, digital agriculture, start-up culture, advanced veterinary science, innovation, and data sciences will help in addressing the challenges and exploring opportunities in sustainable agriculture.
The Lt Governor directed the Agricultural Universities to prepare a strategy for diversification, value addition, supply chain management and profitable market linkage for small and marginal farmers.
“J&K has diverse agro-climatic zones which provide ample scope of adopting farm level diversifications. With this scientific solution, we can mitigate the impact of climate change and will be able to generate higher farm revenue from the same piece of land,” the Lt Governor said.
The Lt Governor made certain valuable suggestions to improve productivity and make the agriculture and allied sector more lucrative for farmers and stakeholders.
He advised for chalking out an effective scientific strategy for organic and integrated farming. Our farmers should be provided necessary handholding and guidance on Monoculture farming so that they could avail the benefits of this ‘Farming of Future’, he said.
The Lt Governor emphasized on increasing awareness and dissemination of information on the benefits of crop rotation, digitization and precision farming tools among the farmers.
He also advised for Rural Action Plan for innovation, technological advances, digital agriculture to make rural community accessible to the key flagship areas of the agriculture and allied sectors.
Addressing the gathering, the Lt Governor shared various progressive steps taken by the government including Holistic Agriculture Development Programme (HADP), high density plantation, GI tags for niche products, agri-entrepreneurship, new Farmers Producers Organisations and developing educational institutions as a technical hub to support farmers.
J&K is the biggest producer of apple in the country. Last year, our annual production was 75 % of the country’s total production. In the last 3 years, 2.44 lakh metric tonnes of CA storage additional capacity have been added and we are aiming to add similar capacity in the next 6 months, the Lt Governor further added.
Dr. B. N. Tripathi, Vice Chancellor, SKUAST-Jammu and Conference Chair emphasised upon the importance of diversification of agriculture and its potential in attaining food and livelihood security.
At SKUAST Jammu, the Lt Governor inaugurated the International Hostel of the University.
He also released the Souvenir cum Abstracts of the 6th J&K Agricultural Science Congress being organized by SKUAST-J in collaboration with J&K Science, Technology and Innovation Council, Department of Science & Technology, J&K.
On the occasion, J&K Science, Technology & Innovation Council, Department of Science & Technology handed over a cheque of the financial assistance of Rs 1.45 crore to SKUAST Jammu on account of research of R&D projects under the Sponsored Research & Extension Programme scheme.
Prof. Nazir Ahmad Ganai, Vice-Chancellor SKUAST Kashmir; Saurabh Bhagat, Commissioner/Secretary, Science & Technology Department; senior Officers of UT Administration and SKUAST, Agriculture Scientists, scholars and students were present.