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J&K Govt clears decks for USD 100 million support by IFAD through implementation of JKCIP

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Project to contribute towards sustained increase in incomes of rural households by improving pre-production and post production verticals of agriculture

JAMMU: Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha gave a green signal to pose JKCIP to the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) for financing through IFAD for project implementation in J&K, an official communique issued today revealed.

It said that the project shall contribute towards sustained increase in incomes of rural households by improving pre-production, production and post production verticals of agriculture. The project objective is to improve the competitiveness of the famers through a value chain approach with emphasis on export of high value agricultural commodities and development of business incubation centers and start-up support.

As per the communique, competitiveness Improvement of Agriculture and Allied Sectors in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (JKCIP) comprises of 4 components which inter alia included value chain support with export focus, incubation and start-up support, support to vulnerable communities and project management. The project implementation would spread over 7 years (2023-2030) across all districts of J&K.

“The project will have a number of positive outcomes which will further complement the growth of agriculture & allied sectors in J&K, including export promotion of potential agricultural commodities and GGAP practices that would encourage export promotion like GI tagging, promotion of niche crops, certifications, quality control, laboratory/logistic support, branding facilities, marketing platforms and development of an organized value chain”, said Atal Dulloo, Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Agriculture Production Department.

He further said that the project will also support activities focusing on tribal and other vulnerable communities which inhabit some of the most vulnerable landscapes such as hillsides, rangelands, semi-arid and arid lands and rely on climate-sensitive natural resources to make a living. IFAD shall promote environmentally sustainable and climate resilient agricultural practices for them.

The communique further revealed that implementation of JKCIP is a part of the government’s larger efforts to look beyond the objectives of Holistic Agricultural Development Plan (HADP) to capture the opportunities in global trade by tapping the competitive advantage of J&K viz agro-climatic diversity, monopoly in production of default organic crops (Walnut, almond, cherries), year-round vegetable production, niche crop advantage & pristine climate which catalyzes the opportunity to export high value agricultural commodities. Besides provisions of HADP, concerted measures shall be implemented through JKCIP to create an enabling environment to reform agricultural sectors and better price realization. APD in collaboration with the Apex Committee under the chairmanship of Dr Mangla Rai has prepared an export promotion plan which is scheduled for ratification with the Apex Committee during 1-3 March, 2023 at SKUAST-Jammu. The plan after ratification shall construe an integral part of the IFAD project.

The project shall also encourage complementarily and convergence with the Holistic Agriculture Development Plan through identification of common activities for financing with focus on augmentation of livelihood of tribal and other vulnerable communities. Another major goal of the IFAD project is to establish incubation centers to undertake skilling of more than 2.5 lac entrepreneurs targeted under HADP projects, besides giving adequate focus on extension of support for training of trainers, demonstration set ups, entrepreneurship development and facilitating partnership with research institutions like ICAR, NFDB, NDDB. It shall also enable & foster establishment of agri start-ups, said the communique.

The project includes a range of interventions to support commercialization & sustainability of agriculture through promotion of 300 new agri-tech start-ups, establishment of 60 vegetable, 117 Aromatic/Red rice, Guchi, Kashmiri Chilli, saffron and medicinal plant production clusters besides establishment of 20 vegetable seed, 20 potato seed and 40 oil and pulse seed clusters.

The project aims to create 6 mini-Centers of Excellences with 24 satellite centers for niche agri products and 4 mini-Centers of Excellences for fruit and nut crops besides establishment of 3 Export Hubs and 2 Business incubation centers. Additionally, it aims to establish 60,000 integrated farming models for fringe and nomadic communities and establishment of 200 horticultural nurseries. The project would also undertake GI tagging, aggregation, processing and marketing of at least 6 agriculture and minor forest produce.

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