SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Government has cleared decks for USD 100 million support by International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) through implementation of Competitiveness Improvement of Agriculture and Allied Sectors Project (JKCIP).
Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, gave a green signal to propose the JKCIP to the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) for financing through International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
JKCIP comprises of four components which inter alia includes 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.
With an aim to contribute to the sustained increase in incomes of rural households by improving pre-production, production and post production verticals of agriculture the projects main objective is to improve the competitiveness of the farmers through a value chain approach with emphasis on export of high value agricultural commodities and development of business incubation centers and start-up support.
Atal Dullo, Additional Chief Secretary(ACS), Agriculture Production Department said the project is expected to have an overall positive impact on the growth of agriculture and allied sectors in JK, 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.
He further said that IFAD shall promote environmentally sustainable and climate resilient agricultural practices for the 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 .
With the implementation of JKCIP government is aiming to capture the opportunities in global trade by tapping the competitive advantage of Jammu and Kashmir’s 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, a part of the government’s larger efforts to look beyond the objectives of Holistic Agricultural Development Plan (HADP).
Another major goal of the IFAD project is to establish incubation centers to undertake skilling of more than 2.5 lakh 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.
The project aims to create six mini-Centers of Excellences with 24 satellite centers for niche agri products and four mini-Centers of excellences for fruit and nut crops besides establishment of three export Hubs and two Business incubation centres.
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 six agriculture and minor forest produce.