Restructuring agriculture production department
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has restructured the agriculture production department with the aim of doubling income of farmers, orchardists and people dependent on animal, sheep husbandry and fisheries for their livelihood. The restructuring is undoubtedly going to give a boost to the income of the farming class and if necessary steps are taken by the administration, it would also open up avenues for employment in rural areas. As rightly observed by the administration, around 70 per cent of population in Jammu and Kashmir is dependent on these sectors and creation of a full-fledged Agriculture Production Department by merging three existing line departments – Agriculture Production and Farmers Welfare, Animal, Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries and Horticulture has every potential to synergize efforts of the government in achieving the target of doubling farm income.
It goes without saying that farming, fisheries and raring of sheep and other live stock is almost an exclusive activity of rural areas. If not every farmer but a larger number is of those who own at least one cow or some sheep. They have avenues available to go for the activities under animal and sheep husbandry schemes but don’t do so because of the redtapism and back-breaking formalities that the concerned departments want them to fulfill. By restructuring the department and bringing all the sectors together, would ensure that all schemes for welfare of the population engaged in these sectors are available under one umbrella in a single department and therefore the benefits of various schemes available in these sectors can be converged and made available to farmers, orchardists and others as a comprehensive package. ,” the spokesman said. As rightly pointed out by the administration, the decision would ensure that the inter-sectoral requirements of agriculture and allied sectors are met in a hassle free manner and will act as a milestone in transparent and timely transfer of funds to the farmers.
The restructuring would be a milestone in promoting the agri-entrepreneurship as a means of high return and respectable employment in a big way. This will be of a great help to the farmers and would ensure modern technological interventions that would help them to increase the productivity in the related fields. The decision is a great farmer-friendly decision and one would expect the concerned authorities to take up the upliftment of these sectors on priority basis. As mentioned already, most of the farmers in our villages have at least one cow or a sheep. If local Panchayats are involved in forming village level cooperatives in dairy and meat sector, our farmers would be able to add to their income by selling the milk products and meat in an organized manner. It is responsibility of the concerned authorities to devise plans in consultation with the stakeholders so that the restructuring serves the purpose for which it has been done.