Agriculture plan has been developed to ensure J&K gets more share of budget component: LG Manoj Sinha | The Chhattisgarh

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March 9, 2021

The Chhattisgarh

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Manoj Sinha

Agriculture plan has been developed to ensure J&K gets more share of budget component: LG Manoj Sinha

Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha, on Monday said that the agriculture sector in the Union Territory will get more share of the budget component in future as a unique sustainable agriculture plan has been developed in J&K, which currently caters to all developmental needs without compromising future potential.
Speaking on the occasion of Horti-Expo 2021 at Police Auditorium in Gulshan Ground here, he said, “The promotion of local produce and taking it to the global market is one of the key focus areas of the J&K government and it is making continuous efforts to increase the resources and market linkages to further strengthen the horticulture sector. The UT government would continue striving hard to provide the best and advanced technologies to farmers as welfare of the farmer community and increasing their income manifold is its priority.”
“I assure farmers that mandis are very much here to stay,’’ the Lieutenant Governor said, adding, “In fact, they are getting strengthened and modernized. People should not spread false information and mislead the farmers.”
Sinha said that the government is also setting up farmers producers organizations in all the 20 districts of Jammu and Kashmir in the next three months to strengthen business activities related to agriculture and horticulture.
For the convenience of the farmers, free thresher is being provided in every panchayat of the UT. Road tax on tractors of up to 3000 CC capacity has also been exempted and no tax will be paid on power tillers, he added.
In the last few years, J&K is getting distinct recognition in the world scenario under the able guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and because of the hard work of farmers, agricultural scientists and policies adopted by the Horticulture Department, he said. He asked the agriculture department to develop new state-of-the-art scientific research programmes and take them from lab to farm under mission mode so as to make J&K self-reliant in food safety.
Sinha reiterated the government’s commitment of exploring all the possibilities for giving a further push to the development of priority sectors like agriculture and horticulture. He recalled the recently held NITI Aayog meeting in which he had requested the Prime Minister to provide facility of dry port and international flights to Jammu and Kashmir so that products, including those related to agriculture and horticulture, could be exported directly.
He has also requested the NITI Aayog that instead of spreading the resources, the Central government could consider specific product-based funding programmes. “Our National Saffron Mission was successful because of its focus on one product,” the Lt Governor said.
He observed that experiments like Saffron Mission can also be used for other crops such as apples, walnuts, almonds, etc., which can cover the entire value chain of inputs, farms, processing, packing and storage. This will also reduce dependence on rice and wheat and the funding coming from the government will go directly to value addition and processing units, he added.
The Lt Governor also recounted the innovative measures taken by the government to boost the horticulture produce in the UT.
He said that the government of Jammu and Kashmir has signed a MoU with NAFED, through which high-density apples, walnuts, mangoes, strawberries and litchies will be cultivated in 5,500 hectares in the next five years. NAFED will also create three cold storage clusters in Kathua, North and South Kashmir with an amount of Rs 500 crore.
The Lt Governor also stressed on the need to pay more attention towards allied activities such as Beekeeping and Dairy development and assured government support for the development of these sectors.
Under the government’s Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture or MIDH, many instruments and facilities are being provided to the farmers, he said. “A lot of facilities are being made available by the government to facilitate farmers and ensuring good health of crops. Subsidized rates are being made available to the farmers on the material for the high-density plantation, due to which the production has also increased almost four times,” he added.
The Lt Governor observed that the Ministry of Agriculture of the Central Government has signed a MoU with more than 60 countries. The MoU focusses on cooperation in research and development in agriculture, horticulture and other allied sectors as well as providing a global market and full cooperation by the government for all activities.