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Agri Dept renamed Agriculture Production & Farmers Welfare Department

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Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir Administration on Wednesday approved the proposal of the Agriculture Production Department to change its nomenclature to ‘Agriculture Production and Farmer Welfare Department’ with a greater focus on farmers’ welfare.

The decision to change the nomenclature is in line with the Centre renaming Agriculture Ministry as ‘Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare’, and many states following the suit, an official spokesman said.

“The decision underscores the changing role of the Agriculture Production Department in socio-economic transformation of J&K and is aimed at providing greater rigour and focus on farmer welfare by optimizing and helping farmers realize the true value of their produce,” he said, adding the department “with a greater focus on farmer welfare has expanded its role beyond arrangement of inputs, extension activities and on-farm activities”.

The issues of farmers’ welfare through various schemes have become the priority areas which include Public Private Partnership mode, greater investments in agriculture, enhancing credit flow and insurance coverage in the interest of farming community, the spokesman said.

In a related development, the administration on Wednesday also announced development of crop specific agriculture clusters to provide ancillary support to farmers and ensure proper road connectivity to various markets, an official spokesman said.

The annual plan for financial year 2020-21, amounting to Rs 16.53 crore, already stands approved for the success of clusters, an official spokesman said.

He said Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam chaired a meeting of State Food Security Mission Executive Committee to review the achievements under the National Food Security Mission (NFSM) with special focus on progress made in the field of Oil Seeds (OS) and Tree Borne Oil Seeds (TBO).

Highlighting the importance of the Mission in doubling farmer’s income, the Chief Secretary emphasised on increasing production of food grains and oils through area expansion and productivity enhancement in a sustainable manner.

He asked the officers to adopt ‘cluster approach’ for assessing the climatic suitability for a crop, developing the required infrastructure, providing necessary ancillary support to farmers, and ensuring proper road connectivity to various markets, the spokesman said.

“These clusters can further be developed into small areas of excellence for a particular crop,” he added.

In a separate meeting, the spokesman said the Chief Secretary approved the proposals for undertaking cluster demonstrations, introducing pest tolerant and bio-fortified varieties of crops, ensuring soil protection management and post harvest management, besides, providing cropping system based training to the stakeholders.

Later, the State Level Sanctioning Committee of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, under the guidance of Chief Secretary, approved the annual action plan for financial year 2020-21 amounting to Rs 75.80 crore, the spokesman said.

He said major activities of agriculture and allied departments for 2020-21 will include mitigation of effects of COVID-19 outbreak on the sectors, production streams and marketing infrastructure.

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