Self sufficiency in agricultural sector

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While addressing Governing Council of the NITI Aayog meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on made a strong case for modernising agriculture, animal husbandry and food processing to help the country become self-sufficient and a global leader in the agriculture sector. He asked the states to focus on promoting 3Ts — Trade, Tourism, Technology — with a view to reducing imports and increasing exports and pitched for encouraging use of local goods thus giving a flip to the ‘vocal for local’ campaign. , said an official release after the seventh meeting of the Governing Council of the NITI Aayog. As the Prime Minister rightly said a sustained focus on modernized agriculture, animal husbandry, and food processing has every potential to make the country self-sufficient and will reduce the dependence on imports.

Agriculture and related sectors are the back bone of India’s economy and its modernization is key to India’s becoming a global leader. Unfortunately, these sectors were always neglected and left to traditional way for farming without any scientific intervention. Lack of modern technology did huge damage to these sectors and as a result, people started drifting away from farming. The youth lost interest as the sectors were not able to ensure proper livelihood. Now that the union government is pitching for giving a boost to the sector and introduce modern technologies, hopefully the farming will become profitable and thus attractive for the youth who alone can revolutionize the sector by using modern and scientific technologies.

Need is to have a holistic approach to the agriculture and allied sectors be that horticulture, animal or sheep husbandry, fisheries and dairy products. These are the activities that if clubbed together, will make these sectors attractive for the educated youth.

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. Bringing all the sectors together, which J&K UT government has already done, 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.

Like other states and UTs of the country, Jammu and Kashmir too has huge potential in agriculture and allied sectors. There is huge scope to launch the vocal for vocal campaign in the UT. With modernizing these sectors and thus enhancing the produce in all these sectors, people would be encouraged for buying the local goods thus inch towards self sufficiency. Need is that these sectors are taken seriously and what Prime Minister is saying is followed in letter and spirit.


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