CM Ms Mehbooba Mufti addressing a function in Jammu on August 28, 2016. (KL Image: Information Department)
CM Ms Mehbooba Mufti addressing a function in Jammu on August 28, 2016. (KL Image: Information Department)

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Flagging crop insurance and marketing support to various agriculture produces to restore the confidence of farming community, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti directed the administration to see how these two facilities are ensured. She suggested use of CDF to give a push to rural economy.

Chairing a meeting of J&K Board for the Development of Kissans in Jammu, Ms Mufti said over the decades farmers have started losing interest due to poor or unstable marketing facilities or fear of crop loss in the event of any natural calamity. She asked the administration to plug the loopholes in this regard and see how various schemes and programmes meant for marketing agricultural produce and insurance of the crops are effectively and extensively executed on the ground.

Likewise, she said, transportation also plays a role in the timely dispatch of the agriculture produce to mandies and directed augmentation of the same.

Ms Mufti said rural economy needs a push as other economies have either reached a saturation stage or are not so rewarding. She said agriculture and allied sectors still hold a good scope of employability in rural and semi-urban areas. She said if concerted efforts are made agriculture would see a turnaround in the coming four to five years.

Chief Minister expressed happiness that procurement mandies are being set up in various areas. She called for more soil testing labs are being set up to advise farmers which land is suitable for which cultivation. She suggested commercial exploitation of wild foods, herbs and mentioned specifically Anar Dana to be promoted for commercial cultivation.

The Chief Minister mentioned the demand of flowers in our daily life and asked the Floriculture Department to promote flower cultivation in a big way. She suggested that the Market Intervention Scheme should not be restricted to fruits only but be extended to flowers and other produce. She said funds won’t be a problem in this regard.

Mehbooba Mufti suggested that funds under Constituency Development Fund may be used to undertake economic activities in poultry, fisheries, apiculture and other areas of rural economy. She also suggested creating constituency-wise model villages for poultry, milk, fisheries, vegetables, basmati, mushkbudji, sheep etc. where these rural economy sectors would be developed exclusively and extensively. She said Animal & Sheep husbandry sector has a huge potential in strengthening rural economy.

During the meeting, the Chief Minister sought details of waiving off of Kissan credit loans and directed removal of all bottlenecks to make the process speedy. She also sought details of the steps being taken for development of vegetable mandi at Assar Doda and also steps being taken for promotion of Sunflower cultivation in the State.

Mehbooba Mufti stressed on exhibiting and displaying of all schemes and facilities for the farming community. She said many of the irrigation canals damaged in the floods of 2014 are being restored.

The Chief Minister said Kissan Board is a forum to seek feedback directly from the farmers. She asked the members to promote farming as a full time occupation with good monetary returns. She said the board should advise the Government on policy issues and measures to be taken for the growth of agriculture sector. She assured full support to the board in the conduct of its activities.

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