SRINAGAR: Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir (SKUAST-K) has launched 550 skill training programs in collaboration with the Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

This initiative, under the Entrepreneurship and Skill Development Programs for the year 2023-24, aims to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem and a skilled workforce in the UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, driving Agriculture Revolution 4.0.

Vikramjit Singh, Commissioner Secretary of the Industries and Commerce Department, who was the chief guest at the launch, commended SKUAST-K’s commitment to promoting entrepreneurship in the region. He praised the faculty for nurturing student and faculty ideas and transforming them into potential startups, enhancing the university’s reputation nationally and globally.

Singh emphasised the importance of finance accessibility and capacity building in value-added agricultural production and connecting farmers with industries. He expressed the Department of Industries and Commerce’s willingness to collaborate with SKUAST-K in establishing a Vocational Training & Agri-business Institute for the greater good of the people.

Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai, Vice-Chancellor of SKUAST-K, welcomed dignitaries and highlighted the university’s mission to shift students’ mindsets towards agribusiness, offering industry- and future-ready curricula. He noted accolades from World Bank scientists who praised SKUAST-K’s performance, suggesting it as a case study for other institutions nationwide. Prof Ganai stressed diversity, equity, and inclusiveness in the university’s vision and mission, aligning with Kashmir’s unique cultural traditions.

He also recognized J&K’s potential to serve as a model bio-economy for other Indian states. Prof Ganai congratulated Dr Saima Paul, a scientist at Krishi Vigyan Kendra Srinagar, for launching ‘Noonley Startup,’ a ready-to-use dip for making salt tea that can save energy, time, and resources.

Dr Haroon Naik, Nodal Officer MSME SKUAST-K, presented an overview of MSME trainings completed in 2022-23 and the approved skill programs for 2023-24.

Shafat Yahya, Deputy Director (Budget) of the Government of J&K, pledged full support to SKUAST-K.

During the event, a book on 550 MSME-supported trainings was released. SKUAST-K nurtured entrepreneurs in agriculture and allied sectors shared their experiences and emphasized SKUAST-K’s role in their ventures’ success.

SKUAST-K is the sole agricultural university sanctioned the highest number of capacity-building programs (550) by the Ministry of MSME for 2023-24.


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