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Expanding business, market opportunities for farmers, holistic agri dev steering JK towards transformation: Dulloo

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Inaugurates one-day buyer-seller meet

JAMMU: Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Agriculture Production Department, Atal Dulloo, today said that expanding business and marketing opportunities for farmers with a well-planned holistic agriculture development is immensely helping Jammu and Kashmir to move towards historic transformation. 

ACS said this while addressing a mammoth gathering after inaugurating a one-day buyer-seller meet organized by the department of Horticulture Planning and Marketing (HP&M) here today.

Over three hundred growers and farmers, SHGs, FPOs, and entrepreneurs hailing from different parts of J&K participated in the event.

The meet also witnessed great participation of buyers which included big merchants, exporters, and multinational companies like Reliance, Big Basket, and Amazon. Besides, many potential buyers/exporters/stakeholders including HFN, Unnati Cooperatives, Uniwool, JKDCUL, Sarweshwar addressed the gathering.

Participating buyers appreciated the initiative of the department which will provide an exclusive opportunity to interact directly with the growers/farmers.

Speaking on the occasion, Atal Dulloo appreciated the initiative of the HP&M department for conducting such events and accentuated the fact that this helped us understand our weaknesses and strengths which ultimately helps in providing a better business environment.

He said that the government has launched a holistic agriculture development programme in J&K. “The conceptualization, formulation, and approval of the massive transformative mission to reform agriculture and allied sectors in J&K was finalized and translated on the ground in just 5 months of time,” he added.

Pertinently, the humongous exercise began with the constitution of the Apex Committee under the Chairmanship of Mangla Rai by the Lieutenant Governor and culminated with the finalization of a transformative mission for holistic development of agriculture and allied sectors in J&K with the potential to transform the subsistence agriculture of J&K into sustainable commercial agri-economy.

Atat Duloo said the approved plan comprising 29 project proposals shall push agriculture and allied sectors to a new trajectory of growth with the economy, ecology, and equity as its guiding pillars, he shared. He also announced that the government has taken up the task of providing GI tagging to another 20-25 products which will give us an edge in the international markets. Besides, a high-level committee has been set up to take steps for the export promotion of our significant products.

ACS appreciated the efforts and achievements of the department in e-NAM Trade and informed that the UT has achieved a pivotal position in Inter-state e-NAM trade in a very short span of 3 months. He underscored the importance of encouraging processing to garner better returns and hoped that the buyers would evince keen interest in the unique and high-quality produce of J&K.

ACS further shared that the government has recently constituted a Marketing Board for facilitating the regulation of mandis and conferred various powers to the Board and the Director Horticulture, Planning and Marketing, J&K. The unified licensing has been approved as also the declaration of CA stores/warehouses/stores of FPOs/Cooperatives as sub-yards of Mandis for undergoing trade on e-NAM.

He said that HP&M has moved towards a transparent e-auction system for allocation of space in mandis and e-NAM trade has increased from less than Rs 1 crore to over Rs 23 crore in a span of 3-4 months, besides taking lead at the national level in inter-state e-NAM Trade.

Director HP&M, Vikas Sharma, advised the participants to make the best use of the platform provided in this buyer-seller meet. He hoped that this initiative will help empower our farmers/growers in order to realize maximum dividends.

It was informed that the department has successfully organized a similar meet at Kolkata last month and after the Jammu meet, it shall organize buyer-Seller meets at Srinagar and Hyderabad and subsequently at other potential locations in the Country.

He dwelled upon various initiatives of the department and the measures taken to strengthen the marketing of J&K products within India as well as in international markets. Market reforms, institutional development, Infrastructure in terms of CA Stores, Grading/Packing Lines, Reefer Vans, Marketing, and Branding Centers, and strengthening Market intelligence shall be the focus of the department, he stressed.

Speaking on the occasion, DGM APEDA, Vanita, deliberated upon the initiatives of the organization towards the promotion of J&K agriculture and Horticulture. She informed that APEDA, in a first, recently introduced Mishri variety of cherry to the Singapore market and Kashmir Apples to Hongkong which she termed as new milestones for local products.

Later, a buyer-seller interaction session was conducted where participants had a thorough and candid discussion on different aspects related to business promotion.

DG CAD, DG Sericulture, MD JK Agro Corporation, Director Horticulture Kashmir, Director Horticulture Jammu, Director Sheep Husbandry Jammu, Director Agriculture Jammu, Director Agriculture Kashmir, Secretary Kissan Board, Joint Director HPM and HPM staff and representatives from SKUAST Jammu, JKTPO, NRLM were present on the occasion.

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