Jammu, February 17: The government of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday said that the agricultural sector is the engine of J&K’s economy.
“The reforms made by the J&K government in recent months for the development and advancement of the agricultural sector are yielding encouraging results,” they said in a press release.
Hey said nearly 70% of the population is directly or indirectly engaged in agricultural and related activities.
“Agriculture is a key and essential part of human civilization and forms the core of societal development in any region,” the government said.
The government said it was working daily on a vision to move beyond subsistence farming by taking advantage of the special agro-climatic conditions of the Union Territory to ensure high yields for farmers through agricultural interventions. sustainable and inclusive transformed and modern.
“Furthermore, with the introduction of innovative and globally validated agricultural technologies, the establishment of the required advanced infrastructure and the creation of a favorable ecosystem, the agricultural sector is developing along modern lines on the full length and breadth of J&K.”
The mission of the J&K Administration is to ensure a comprehensive transformation of the lives and prospects of UT farmers from subsistence agriculture to modern, vibrant, high-yield agriculture by the end of the year. year 2023. The government’s aim is also to dispel the image of farming as a means of livelihood and widely promote agripreneurship as a means of high return and respectable employment. They also make maximum efforts to group Farmer Interest Groups (FIGs), especially youth and women and Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) into specific commodity groups to achieve Atamnirbhar objectives. Bharat and make the most of the funding and opportunities available under various SSCs to secure the welfare of farmers in the Union Territory.
In recent years, the mechanization of the agricultural sector is an important step to transform the agricultural sector, which will help farmers produce more. As part of agricultural mechanization support to farmers for broader economic transformation, the Lieutenant Governor of J&K issued sanction letters for 100 tractors to farmers and 1035 threshers to panchayats. The government is also setting up one-to-one job centers and agricultural machinery banks in different parts of the union territory. No less than 151 personalized hiring centers and 122 farm machinery banks have been established so far.
The agriculture and horticulture sectors are key drivers of J&K’s economic growth and the effective use of seed technologies, high-density plantings, nutrient management, and the widespread adoption of integrated seed management programs. dairy farming to make agriculture in Jammu-Kashmir an agricultural powerhouse. Facilities have been provided such as cold stores, market linkages and food processing units, in addition to developing a strong framework for connecting the agricultural industry and creating employment opportunities for young people to bridge the rural-urban divide.
Moreover, till recent months, direct financial assistance has been provided to 11.7 lakh farmers through Kissan credit card and incentives worth Rs. 1,706 crores have been provided. disbursed to more than one million beneficiaries under the PM-KISAN program.
Extending the benefits of the technology to farmers, the government has distributed paddy/maize threshers to 3,000 panchayats which will soon be distributed to all panchayats.
In addition, 1.29 lakh of soil samples tested in the current year, 56,426 Soil Health Cards (SHC) have been distributed and more than 1 lakh quintal of quality seeds have also been distributed to farmers to scale up production and make it economically sustainable. The government has also launched several other notable initiatives to develop the agricultural sector of J&K.
Under the national saffron mission, an irrigation infrastructure including a sprinkler system was launched, which is connected to 126 deep production wells. As a result of this, approximately 2578.75 hectares of land has rejuvenated till date. The implementation of Mission also ensured a substantial increase in crop yields from 1.88 kg/Ha to 4.5 kg/Ha, which ultimately doubled the income of saffron growers.
The government has also launched several marketing initiatives to make J&K’s agricultural sector more viable. GI labeling for saffron and guchi (wild mushroom) from Doda has given remarkable progress to the famous Kashmir saffron in the international market as well as guchi mushroom.
In addition, the organic certification of Basmati rice from RS Pura has also increased the commercial value of the rice.
Likewise, other notable achievements like Lal Mirch harvested from 1182 Ha, sweet corn harvested from 160 Ha (6105 Qtl), exotic vegetables were harvested from 125 Ha and others have generated massive income for the farmers.
In a bid to give a major boost to the agricultural sector in Jammu and Kashmir, the UT government has signed a pact with New Zealand for the transformation of the sheep farming sector in the union territory. The overarching objective of the pact is to improve farmer remuneration, technology transfer in research and development as well as marketing and value addition of Jammu and Kashmir sheep products.
Online registration certification has also started in Jammu and Kashmir to facilitate registration and ensure the growth of organic agriculture. For the first time in history, 2,000 truckloads of vegetables were exported from Jammu and Kashmir to other parts of the country. Jammu and Kashmir reached first place in the whole country with a yield of 70 quintals per hectare of paddy.
In addition, 60,000 hectares of Basmati agricultural land is being converted into high productivity land. Over the past year, a record 5,400 metric tons of mushrooms and 22,182 quintals of honey have been produced. Kisan credit cards have been made available to over 11,60,000 farmers.
To give more impetus to the agricultural sector here, the agriculture department has also decided to collaborate with Amazon Fresh which has shown keen interest in the assortment of fruits and vegetables available in Jammu with the aim of expanding its network. in northern India. Jammu is also going to have a collection/supply center next year. To provide a market for Kashmiri saffron, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) has decided to sell Kashmiri saffron at all its outlets across the country, providing another option for farmers to sell their products at attractive prices.
Apart from saffron, Jammu and Kashmir is number one in the whole country in the production of apples, nuts and almonds and the upcoming industries in the food processing sector will help farmers’ incomes to multiply in the next few days.