Jammu March 18: Governor N.N. Vohra, Chancellor of the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology-Jammu (SKUAST-J), inaugurated a two day “Kisan Mela” at the Chatha Campus of the University today. This Mela has been organized on the theme of “Diversified Agriculture-Sustainable Agriculture”.
The Governor visited all the stalls set up at the Mela, interacted with the farmers and scientists and appreciated the University’s initiative of organizing this Mela, in which stalls have been set up by a number of Agricultural Universities from within and outside the State and KVKs of the University.
The Governor observed that the agriculture and its sector is the backbone of the State’s economy and it is, therefore, necessary that every effort is made to improve, upgrade and modernize it. He said that the development of the agriculture sector will benefit over 70 % of the State’s population and it is important to ensure that the research done in the Farm Universities is adequately focused on developing improved seeds and plants and superior technologies for achieving higher productivity in the rainfed areas.
The Governor stressed the need to promote integrated farming as it will not only bring economic benefits to the farmers but also ensure that the environment is saved from the ill effects of harmful chemicals. He appealed to the farmers to visit the University’s Integrated Farming Demonstration project to gain first-hand knowledge of this approach. The Governor also urged the farmers to get the utmost benefit of the newly introduced schemes of “Pradhn Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana” and “Krishi Sinchai Yojana” announced by the Govt. of India.
The Governor observed that the State encompasses different agro-climatic zones ranging from sub-tropical to temperate to the high mountain areas, all of which provide opportunities for diversification of agricultural activities to promote forestry, horticulture, animal and sheep husbandry, poultry, fishery etc.
The Governor stressed the urgent need to rear quality breed of cattle and goats for the State to become self reliant in the production of dairy and meat products. He observed that the State was importing mutton, fish, poultry and milk products with over Rs.1500 crore a year. He noted that if effective initiatives are taken, J&K should be exporting meat, fish, poultry and dairy products.
Besides raising agricultural productivity by introducing High Yielding Varieties of seeds and application of to-date technologies, the Governor stressed the need for the agriculture in the State to shift to newer practices. He urged the Farm scientists in SKUAST to take practical measures for enabling the farmers to utilize new technological approaches towards farming practices.
The Governor exhorted the scientists of the SKUAST to do extensive research work in this field for promoting the prosperity of the State and its farmers and stressed tight coordination between all the agencies engaged in the enhancement of agricultural productivity so that a cohesive approach is implemented to bring rapid development in the agriculture sector of the State.
Mr. Daljit Singh Chib, Vice-Chairman, J&K State Advisory Board for Development of Kisans; Mr. M.A Bukhari, Commissioner Agriculture Production Department also educated the farmers about different schemes launched for the benefit of farming community.
Dr. Pradeep K. Sharma, Vice-Chancellor SKUAST-J presented the Welcome Address and the Vote of Thanks was given by Dr K.S Risam, Director Extension, SKUAST-J.