Committed to fully implement Forest Rights Act: LG
Says J&K has taken quantum leap in branding, marketing and transportation of local products
Srinagar: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday said the UT administration is committed to fully implement the Forest Rights Act at the earliest to safeguard the interests of the communities dependent on forests.
Sinha was addressing a function after inaugurating the new boys hostel of the Faculty of Forestry built at an expenditure of Rs 5.30 crore.
He also laid foundation stones for a mini-watershed project worth around Rs 10 crore, a hostel for trainees at Rs 3.80 crore and an academic block costing Rs 8 crore at the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) Kashmir campus in Ganderbal district.
The LG also felicitated 10 winners of the ‘Champion Farmer Award’ and handed over cheques of Rs 5,000 to each of them.
Speaking on the government’s endeavours to safeguard the rights and interests of the communities dependent on forests, Sinha said the UT government is committed to fully implement the Forest Rights Act at the earliest.
“The administration is working to ensure their rights. We are reaching out to the communities and stakeholders dependent on forests by opening up more opportunities for their livelihood generation,” he said.
The LG said the goal of rapid development of villages, forest dwellers, and farming communities can only be achieved by protecting forest resources and integrating forest products into the new investment policy.
“J&K is blessed with immense forest wealth which needs to be protected. Our Scientists, senior officials, youth, and other stakeholders must engage themselves in rejuvenation of agro-forest resources,” said the LG.
He asked the concerned officials to ensure that action should be taken against those who have occupied the large forest lands rather than targeting only the poor.
“The interest of the poor people who have been living in the forests for generations must be safeguarded,” he added.
Speaking on the government’s endeavours to safeguarding the rights and interests of the communities dependent on forests, the LG stated that the UT government is committed to fully implement the Forest Rights Act at the earliest.
“The administration is working to ensure their rights. We are reaching out to the communities and stakeholders dependent on forests by opening up more opportunities for their livelihood generation,” added the LG.
According to the official press release, the LG also underlined host of innovative measures taken by the UT government for branding, marketing, and transportation of local agro-forestry products.
“From GI tagging of local produce to the operationalization of night flights and commencing of international air cargo, we have given a greater impetus to strengthening the market connectivity for the farmer’s produce,” observed the LG.
“The Central government under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi is giving a focused attention towards the development and progress of agriculture and allied sectors in the UT,” he said.
He also made some suggestions to explore more possibilities of growth and diversification in the agro-forestry industry.
He called for prioritizing the reproductivity of medicinal and aromatic plants, besides conducting a regular survey in this regard and preparing a working plan for the next one year. He also suggested the forestry faculty to explore all the possibilities of integrating the forest products like Kot root plant with other growth potential industries.
He further shared the suggestions and inputs received by the farmers from every corner of the UT regarding focus attention to the value addition in agriculture.
“We are creating new opportunities for rural employment. With the target of 2 FPOs in each district, the government is working to create such facilities and ecosystem so that youth could also take up farming as a career option,” the LG maintained.
He made a special mention of the womenfolk of J&K who are engaged in agriculture and allied sectors and called for opening up of more avenues for the women, in collaboration with JKRLM, for marketing of forest produce with medicinal properties.
Underlining the important role of the young generation in protecting and preserving the green gold, the LG observed that the increase in number of youth, especially the girls, indulging in forestry is an encouraging sign.
“Our young generation is aware of environmental issues like greenhouse gases; ozone layer depletion, global warming and I believe that they can play an important role in environment conservation and protecting the endangered species,” added the LG.
The LG impressed upon the youth, scientists, and faculty members to work with the spirit of ‘Jan Bhageedari’ in environment protection and dealing with challenges of climate.
Earlier, the LG inspected the stalls of vegetable varieties installed by the SKUAST-K and also planted a tree sapling on the occasion