Jashn-e-Zafraan: Farmer-centric policies have doubled the income of Saffron farmers: LG
Srinagar: Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha today e-inaugurated the “Jashn-e-Zafraan”, Harvesting Saffron, in presence of Kailash Choudhary, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.
Speaking on the occasion, the Lt Governor observed that it is due to farmer-centric policies of the Government that the income of the Saffron farmers in Jammu and Kashmir in 2021 has doubled, a year before the deadline.
He pointed out to the recent data of the National Statistical Survey which shows that after Meghalaya, Punjab, Haryana and Arunachal Pradesh, the farmers of Jammu and Kashmir have the highest monthly income of Rs 18,918, way above the national average of Rs 10,218.
The Lt Governor expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the Prime Minister for systematically improving the entire chain from farm to retail marketing, bringing a huge change in the lives of farmers from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.
The Lt Governor noted that in 2016, Prime Minister had started a revolutionary change in agriculture and horticulture. It is the result of various interventions of the PM that today the income of J&K farmers is at the fifth position in the whole country and 46% higher than the national average.
“98% of those agricultural households who had sought technical advice from various institutions of our Agriculture Department have further strengthened the process of reforms in farming sector by adopting those techniques”, he added.
Referring to the Prime Minister’s interaction with progressive saffron farmer Abdul Majeed Wani, the Lt Governor said that the farmer-welfare initiatives and introduction of affordable new technologies with incentives has made their farming way better.
The Lt Governor said that the increase in saffron production from 2.5 Kg per hectare to 5 kg per hectare will motivate farmers of other agriculture and allied sectors to increase their production taking maximum benefit of various agriculture development schemes of the Central and UT government.
The Lt Governor said that after the tireless efforts of the central government last year, Saffron got the Geographical Indication Tag and paved way for it to become a powerful brand in the international market.
He observed that when J&K’s Saffron was launched in Dubai last year after getting the GI tag, it received very encouraging results. Now not only exports will increase, but the Pampore Trading Center built under the vision of the Prime Minister will make it easier for the Saffron farmers to sell it in other parts of the country as well, he said.
“NAFED, which is working with the UT Government on high density plantations, will sell Saffron from Jammu and Kashmir across the country. Farmers of Pulwama, Budgam and Kishtwar will get huge relief by this and now instead of doubling the farmers’ income, we aim to increase it three times”, he added.
On the occasion the Lt Governor said that the cultivation of Saffron cannot be imagined without J&K’s Nari Shakti. Our mothers and sisters have always played a significant role in the growth of Saffron production in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Lt Governor stressed on organizing regular buyer-seller meets by the Agriculture Production & Farmers Welfare Department so that maximum profits of farmers’ hard work can be ensured by creating marketing linkages across the country.
The Lt Governor also expressed gratitude towards Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare for his initiative to connect the farmers of J&K UT with high density plantation.
The Lt Governor underscored the significance of Soil health cards in monitoring soil fertility of farmers’ land. He also stressed on the registration of all the farmers under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.
Navin Kumar Choudhary, Principal Secretary, Agriculture Production & Farmers Welfare gave a detailed brief of the various activities which were organized during the Jashn-e-Zafraan festival which include display stalls by agriculture department, buyer-seller meets, technical session and awareness on Marketing of farmers’ produce.