J&K witnessing new rural economic revolution: LG
Says govt providing single platform for sale, purchase of high-quality livestock breeds to strengthen dairy sector; plans to establish 800 new dairy units, 26 mobile veterinary clinics this year
Jammu: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Thursday said the Union territory is witnessing a new rural economic revolution by way of the structural changes and consolidation of different programmes for farm and non-farm population.
He also said the UT has also redefined the agriculture and horticulture business in the country with expanded operations and strong supply chain system, which had never happened in the last 70 years.
He said his administration is planning to establish 800 new dairy units, besides establishing 26 mobile veterinary clinics this year.
Attending the first-ever ‘Vishal Pashudhan Vyapar Mela’ at Sports Stadium at Hiranagar in Kathua district, Sinha said the structural changes and consolidation of different programmes for farm and non-farm population in the rural areas are nothing short of a revolution for rural J&K.
“The UT has also redefined the agriculture and horticulture business in the country with expanded operations and strong supply chain system, which had never happened in the last 70 years,” he said.
Sinha welcomed the farmers from other states to the mega livestock trade fair, the first-of-its-kind event in the UT which would provide a major fillip to the animal husbandry sector with an additional source of income to the farmers.
An official press release issued in this regard said the ‘Mela’ (fair) will facilitate doubling the income of farmers through the adoption of best practices, genetic up-gradation of milch animals, latest technical interventions and proper management of high-quality breeds of milch animals.
The hardships faced by farmers in the cumbersome purchase process of high-quality breeds from the adjoining states and their transportation to the destination district of UT of J&K will be eliminated as high-quality breeds of cows, buffaloes, sheep, goats, etc. from neighboring states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh etc. shall be displayed for sale and purchase, said the LG.
In addition, the related machinery of latest technology pertaining to Animal & Sheep Husbandry sectors including fodder management shall also be displayed and made available for the farmers and dairy entrepreneurs. The insurance of animals after sale/ purchase will also be facilitated by the Department of Animal & Sheep Husbandry, he added.
It is an effort on part of the government towards providing a single platform for sale and purchase of high-quality livestock breeds that would strengthen J&K’s dairy sector, besides exploiting the full potential of J&K in milk, fodder and mutton production, Sinha said.
He added that it will help cut down imports and bridge the demand and supply gap in the poultry sector, and generate employment by attracting new entrepreneurs.
Terming the agriculture sector as the backbone of J&K’s economy, Sinha said the government is making resolute efforts to develop this huge growth potential sector to double the income of the farmers and the other stakeholders involved in the agriculture and allied sectors.
“Seventy percent of our population is dependent on agriculture with around 76 lakh people being dependent on agriculture. This year, the budget of Rs 2008 crore has been earmarked for the agriculture sector which is way more than the budget per capita as compared to many other states and UTs,” he added.
Sinha said the government has made reformative interventions to bring a revolution in the agriculture sector, the “record production registered in agriculture, and horticulture” is the result of this change.
“The efforts of the last one year have put J&K on the map of big agriculture and horticulture powers,” he said.
Quoting some instances of the exemplary work being done in the agriculture and horticulture production, the LG observed that “a few years ago, a farmer produced roughly two kilograms of saffron from a hectare of the field; however, today 5 kg of saffron is being produced in one hectare.”
Taking the lab technology to the fields, our agricultural scientists, researchers are touching new heights with their hard work. Around 500 farmers of Doda district have now adopted new techniques, and left the traditional cultivation of maize to cultivate lavender, triggering a new revolution under Aroma Mission, added the LG.
Citing a research paper on the changing agriculture and horticulture system of Jammu and Kashmir, published in the USA’s science journal ‘Heliyon’, the LG noted that the paper “acknowledged the historic development taking place in agriculture sector in the UT”.
He credited the determined efforts of officials of the administration and the farming community for this unprecedented development.
In an effort to cut down imports and bridge the demand-supply gap in dairy and poultry sectors, double the income of farmers, and generate employment, he said the government has launched the Integrated Dairy Development Scheme.
“Under this scheme, financial support is provided in the shape of 50 per cent subsidy for the establishment of dairy units…
“This year, the government plans to establish 800 new dairy units, by induction of more than 4,000 animals, and other milk processing units. This will enhance the milk production significantly,” the LG said.
Under the Integrated Poultry Development Program 2021-22, Sinha said a significant financial support would be provided for the establishment of new commercial broiler farms.
“This year, the department targets to encourage new entrepreneurs to establish more than 500 new commercial broiler farms and other units to enhance poultry production,” he added.
He said the government also plans to establish 26 mobile veterinary clinics this year for providing veterinary care services in remote and inaccessible areas.
Sinha also reiterated that his government is committed to improving power infrastructure in the UT.
“Power transmission and distribution system is being improved substantially. Despite our efforts, some areas in Jammu division remained affected during the last couple of months due to outages but the gaps have been identified,” he said.
In order to provide uninterrupted and reliable power supply to all, he said the government is introducing strict and innovative measures to meet various challenges in fulfilling energy needs of the people in future.
The LG once again expressed his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families which suffered loss in the Kishtwar cloudburst and assured every possible support of the government to the families affected by the natural calamity.
“We cannot bring back the lives lost in the unfortunate incident. However, we will ensure the best possible assistance to the affected families. Our heartfelt sympathies are with the bereaved families,” he said.
Navin Kumar Choudhary, Principal Secretary, Animal and Sheep Husbandry Department highlighted the major schemes in Animal and Sheep Husbandry aimed at making Jammu and Kashmir, self-sufficient in milk production, besides providing livelihood opportunities to the farmers to increase the farmers’ income.
Earlier, the LG inspected various stalls displayed by the Agriculture and allied departments and farmers. He also handed over the subsidy cheques to the beneficiaries under various schemes on the occasion.