Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura on Friday said that government has taken a number of initiatives for development of Agriculture, allied sectors with a focused strategy to increase production, the productivity of crops and to enable farmers to take advantage of market opportunities.
The Minister said this while replying to the discussion on Demand for Grants of Agriculture Department in the Legislative Assembly, here today.
“New avenues are being explored for investment in the sector and a new hope among the people has emerged with the concerted efforts of the department, which promises profitability and dignity in the agriculture as an occupation,” he informed.
Giving details of various major initiatives, the Minister announced that Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Farmers Value Enhancement Programme (MMSFVEP) will be launched soon in the state to give a further boost to Agriculture Sector.
MMSFVEP will address and provide higher technology in farming systems, Capacity Development of Farmers, and diversification towards high-value crops and focus on production of safe to eat food, he said.
The Minister said that it will be taken up on a pilot basis in one block of every district for which an allocation of Rs 22.50 crore is being proposed under CAPEX for 2018-19.
While highlighting the achievements of the department, the Minister said that it will shortly commission a state of the Art Saffron Spice Park at Dusso (Pampur) which is fully equipped for quality control, testing and e-trading facilities.
Hanjura expressed his gratitude to Chief Minister and Finance Minister for earmarking Rs 5 crores for the purpose as there was a constant demand from the Saffron Growers. He also extended his thanks to FM for exempting pulses from the toll tax list giving a boost to the production of Pulses.
He further said that under Capex Budget 2017-18, Rs 62 lakh has been allocated for Sericulture out of which Rs 37 lakh have been utilized on various Sericulture activities.
Under CADP, four projects are ongoing at Sonawari, Ganderbal, Uri, Vessuand Kulgamin Kashmir Division amounting to Rs 20.57 crores.He said that 12 new projects amounting to Rs 92.17crores are proposed and DPRs for the same have been prepared.
In Jammu division, projects including at Pargwal, Udhampur, Rajouri, Kishtwar & Ramban have been taken up at a cost of Rs 90.47 crore besides and 5 new projects amounting to Rs 181.73 crores are proposed, he said.
Hanjura said that SKUAST-K has released 12 new varieties for cultivation in the State including 2of rice, 2 maize, 2 brown sarsoon and 1 each in rajmash, chickpea, lantil, methi, coriander, and soya been.
Similarly, SKUAST-J has developed an Integrated Farming System (IFS) model for small and marginal farmers for their livelihood security and doubling of farmer’s income.
The department had established Rice Cluster at R S Pura and Suchetgarh in Jammu under which thrust is being given to the promotion of Indigenous Basmati Rice under participatory guarantee system for organic certification involving the total cost of Rs 33.66 crore for 3 years.
On the pattern of Mushk Budji and Basmati (370), the department intends to promote revival of Zag in Karnah and Kamad rice varieties through interventional measures for upscaling their production, the Minister said.
For the promotion of vegetable cultivation especially in Chenab Valley and other adjacent areas which have emerged larger producers of vegetables will be given focused attention, Hanjura informed.
With an objective to popularize latest technological know-how for enhancing production and productivity of vegetables in identified cluster areas, intensive Vegetable Development clusters in Srinagar, Pulwama, Budgam, Anantnag in Kashmir and Jammu, Kathua in Jammu division would be established with an estimated cost of Rs 10.86 crore, he added.
Under Organic Vegetable Cluster in Leh and Kargil, he said that High Tech Polly House would be established and provision of Hybrid vegetable seeds for distribution, promotion, and adoption of organic farming will be provided to farmers.
With an objective to promote potato cultivation, a virus-free potato seed village was established at Kanidajan in Budgam, the Minister said.
174 women self-help groups are active in the production of Vegetables, Mushrooms and this has opened an avenue for the employment generation among the womenfolk, the Minister said adding that to give a boost to Api-Culture in the state, the department would establish Apiculture clusters at Ramban & Kupwara.
The Minister said that to increase production of Rajmash through area extension, productivity enhancement in a sustainable manner and restoring soil fertility, he said Rajmash clusters in Kishtwar and Bhaderwah at an estimated cost of Rs 10.25 crore would be established.
Hanjura informed the House that Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna is being implemented in all 10 districts of Jammu division w.e.fKharif 2017 for the notified crops viz Paddy, Wheat, Maize, and Mango.
For bringing transparency in fertilizer distribution, he said that distribution it will be rolled out on DBT mode from February 2018 for which point of Sale Machines have already been distributed to retail and wholesale fertilizer dealers.
With regard to irrigation initiatives taken, the Minister said that the department has drawn up 22 district irrigation plans requiring Rs 14688 crore, and DIPs stands submitted to Ministry of Agriculture GOI for funding.
The Minister said that Agro Industries Development Corporation is doing well has earned a profit of Rs 1.20 crore by the end of December 2017. It will set up Kisan friendly Petrol Pumps at Lal Mandi, Khunmoh, and Bijbehara, he added.
Later, the House passed with a voice vote the grants amounting to Rs 184012.16 lakhs for Agriculture and allied departments.