Reyaz Rashid

LG calls for right marketing, branding of farming products for appropriate dividends

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Inaugurates farmers and growers mela, high density plantation drive

Baramulla: Asserting that the value addition of agricultural and horticultural produce is the only viable option for getting better outcomes, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday observed that right branding and marketing of agricultural and horticulture products at different forums is vital for getting appropriate farming dividends.

After inaugurating a mega Farmers and Growers Mela organized by Agriculture Production and Farmer’s Welfare department as part of the ongoing ‘Azaadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav’ celebrations, he said that the several novel initiatives are being taken by the present dispensation at the central as well as the regional level for connecting the farming sector with global market chain.

The LG also launched high density plantation drive which aimed to introduce high yielding horticultural varieties for getting enhanced outputs.

While expressing joy over an overwhelming participation of farmers in the programme, the LG said that farmers of Kashmir region are progressive and adaptive to new farming techniques. He said that government is very serious towards addressing farmers’ grievances and issues adding that Rs 2008 crore in the recently passed UT budget was earmarked for agriculture sector which is the highest-ever allocation till date.

The LG further said that horticulture sector is the backbone of our economy and about 30 lakh persons are associated with it directly or indirectly for their livelihoods. He emphasized for adopting integrated farming which has the potential to explore more and more agro-based livelihood opportunities.

“The income of the farmers will get tripled, even quadrupled if all modern, latest and scientific know-how based on changing circumstances are adopted in the agricultural fields,” the LG said.

Enlisting various farmers-centric initiatives that were taken by the government, the LG said that several laws have been relaxed wherein farmers can now avail benefits from different government sponsored welfare schemes and programmes, “which were previously not available owing to restrictive enactments”.

He also said that testing labs based on international standards shall be established for the overall welfare of the farming community, adding that strict legal action shall be taken against all those stakeholders/dealers involved in the sale of spurious pesticides and fertilizers.

Moreover, the LG said that Agriculture department has signed MoU with NAFED Ltd wherein high density horticultural varieties shall be developed on about 5500 hectares of land.

He further said that institutional credit mechanism has been strengthened and farmers are being given loans under KCC scheme so as to insulate them from the clutches of private money lenders.

The LG also emphasized for promoting agro-entrepreneurship and stressed that the farmers must try to brand their products and adopt cooperative based market linking so that the agriculture sector is made remunerative.

The LG also distributed felicitation awards and farming machinery among some progressive farmers of the district. These farmers have excelled in several agro-based sectors by the incorporation of latest and modern farming techniques. He also released the ‘Krishi Calender 2020-21’ at the event which highlighted the achievements recorded by the Agriculture department.

At the outset of the event, the LG inspected various stalls that were installed by Agriculture and its allied departments. These stalls were displaying different farming schemes/programmes and other useful farming machinery and equipments. Some stalls were also installed by some private entrepreneurs associated with the farming sector.

Principal Secretary, Agriculture Production Department, Navin Kumar Choudhary presented the valedictory address wherein he presented a brief description of various schemes and programmes sponsored by the Agriculture department.

He also said that such events are being organized to acquaint the farmers regarding latest technologies and giving exposure to them by bringing the farmers and the scientists and other stakeholders on a common platform.

Managing Director NAFED, Sanjay Kumar Chada; Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, P K Pole; IGP Kashmir, Vijay Kumar; Deputy Commissioner Baramulla, Bhupinder Kumar; Director Agriculture, Director Horticulture, heads of various departments, DDC members, BDC chairpersons, PRIs and a huge gathering of farmers were present on the occasion.

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