Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha Wednesday attended the Lt Governor’s conference on agricultural sector organized by Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
Speaking on the occasion, the Lt Governor shared J&K’s perspective on the broad approach of the UT Government taking Agriculture and allied sectors on the path of sustainable and inclusive growth.
We have created an enabling environment for transforming Agriculture and allied sectors of J&K to increase the income of our famers in line with the National targets, create jobs, ensure food security, speed up the economy and enhance the contribution of agriculture and allied sectors in the Gross Domestic Product of the UT, observed the Lt Governor.
The Lt Governor expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar for extending liberal financial assistance to support efforts in widening the development of Agriculture and allied sectors in Jammu & Kashmir.
The Lt Governor highlighted the reformative interventions made by the government leading to sweeping changes in J&K’s Agriculture sector during the past one year.
We are working on an integrated approach. From reducing input cost & increasing quality at pre harvest stage, facilitation of our farmers to link them with domestic and international markets has become a new normal, the Lt Governor said.
Consistent efforts are being made to diversify the agriculture by bringing in credit, technology, extension to step up present growth rate; besides building capacities of farmers together with creating entrepreneurship; encouraging High Density Plantation; extending agricultural mechanization support and developing Market infrastructure.
The growth potential of Agriculture and Horticulture sector has started finding interest among potential investors. Our progress in the sector has now attracting markets and entrepreneurs from outside J&K, added the Lt Governor.
While listing out the support extended to the farmers for getting maximum returns, and facilitating Market Linkages of the local produce, the Lt Governor said that the low remunerative crops are being replaced with the high value cash crops. There has been a massive increase in the cultivation of organic and exotic vegetables during last two years. For the first time, more than 2000 truckloads of vegetables have been marketed across the country, he added.
Apart from GI tagging of Saffron, J&K administration has made new strides in organic certification of products like Basmati Rice and transportation of perishable products through air cargo to various domestic markets, he observed.
Rootstock is being imported from outside the country for developing High Density Plantation orchards. A new Scheme vis-a-vis ‘Development of High Density Plantation Nurseries’ has been introduced to make J&K Aatmanirbhar in the input support in terms of High Density plants, the Lt Governor said.
Enhanced focus is being laid to stabilize the fruit market of Horticulture produce of J&K and ensure round the year sale of the fruits like Apple on good prices, besides establishment of storage within J&K. During the last one year, 40,000 MTs of storage has been established thereby making available a total of 1.65 LMT of CA storage facilities in Jammu & Kashmir. Also, another 35,000 MTs of storage capacity is under construction, added the Lt Governor.
On the occasion, the Lt Governor sought Rs 800 crore support from the Union Government for Modified High Density Plantation in J&K.
The Lt Governor also highlighted the need for special provisions under existing schemes for establishment of CA stores, more fruit and vegetable Mandis and electronic platforms for the market of Agriculture and Horticulture produce; extending the time period for return of the capital under KCC Scheme from existing one year to three years for Horticulture crop; establishing modern processing and extraction facilities for Walnut on large scale; establishing modern pesticides laboratories; developing irrigation facilities and rejuvenation of more than 1000 Ha of land under National Saffron Mission; establishment of Saffron Park at Kishtwar in Jammu division etc.
He further requested the Union Government for making interventions for protected cultivation in the higher reaches of J&K; encouraging the Olive oil and other oil seed production; supporting the initiative “PARVAZ” with at least 50% of subsidy under the scheme on all major crops and a special support package under Sub Mission on Agriculture Mechanisation (SMAM).
Addressing the conference, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar stated that benefits of Central Government schemes for Agriculture sector should reach the correct farmers through better implementation in the UTs. Although funds are not a constraint, it is the implementation of the scheme which should be proper, he added.
The Union Minister said that the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund will provide infrastructure facilities at farm gate for small farmers.
During the conference, presentations were given to all UTs by the senior officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare on schemes of the Union Government for the benefit of farmers. Schemes of Agriculture Ministry were also explained for better implementation in the Union Territories.
Admiral D K Joshi, Lieutenant Governor, Andaman and Nicobar Island, besides Officials and delegates of other UTs also participated in the discussions.
Among those who attended the conference were Kailash Choudhary, MoS Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Shobha Karandlaje, MoS Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary, MoAFW; Navin Kumar Choudhary, Principal Secretary to the J&K Government, Department of Agriculture Production & Farmers Welfare, along with senior officials of the MoAFW and progressive farmers
Srinagar district admin inspects market to ensure implementation of COVID-19 protocols
In the wake of rising Covid-19 cases in Srinagar, a district administration team on Tuesday inspected the markets of the city to ensure proper implementation of the protocols.
Srinagar Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Hanief Balkhi said that the team was inspecting the markets to ensure that the shopkeepers and people follow all the Covid-19 guidelines issued by the health department.
“We just want them to wear masks, take all the precautions and protect themselves. We do not want to impose fines, seal shops or register FIRs. And we are happy that 99 per cent of the shopkeepers are wearing masks,” he stated.
“It is usually the buyers who do not wear masks. So, we have distributed the masks as well. By and large, things have improved and people are following protocols,” he added.
The ADC also informed that a few shops have been sealed for the violation of Covid-19 protocols. “A few shops have been sealed. But that is not our intention. We just want people to be careful,” he said.
Meanwhile, the schools reopened in Srinagar for classes 10th and 12th on Monday and things are slowly returning back to normal in the city.
Man killed, woman injured in lightning
A man was killed and a woman injured in lightning in central Kashmir district of Badgam, official sources said on Tuesday.
They said a group of farmers were working in their fields when lightning strike at Panchas in Badgam Monday evening.
A 30-year-old Gulzar Ahmad Khan and Shakeela Banu were injured.
Both the injured were rushed to hospital where Gulzar was declared brought dead, they said.
Majority areas in the Kashmir valley, including parts of Srinagar, witnessed heavy snowfall and lightning for several hours on Monday evening.
Srinagar schools reopen for classes 10, 12 with COVID-19 protocols in place
Adhering to COVID-19 protocols, schools in Srinagar reopened on Monday for classes 10 and 12. Students were seen happy and enthusiastic at the resumption of physical classes.
A student of Government Girls Higher Secondary School in Kothibagh, Srinagar, Bushra said, “I am feeling very happy at the resumption of classes. Teachers were doing a lot of effort in online classes, but we were not comfortable. Physical classes are good because we can interact with teachers whenever we want.”
She further said that schools are properly taking care of COVID-19 protocols and providing masks and sanitisers.
“I was missing the school a lot. I was not able to study properly in online classes due to internet issues. In-person classes are always best, so I always enjoy physical classes in school,” another student, Arbeena from the same school said.
Expressing happiness about meeting friends in the school, a student, Humaira Manzoor said, “I am very happy that schools have reopened. Now I can meet my friends and teachers. Even, I was not able to study anything at home due to network issues.”
Further, a teacher of the English Faculty in the same school, Shabina Taj said, “We are getting very good response from students. All the students are very happy about physical classes. Students are even bringing their queries to discuss with us. Also, staff and students, both are following the SOPs issued by government.”
On September 5, Jammu and Kashmir Government ordered the reopening of schools for students of class 12 and 10 and staff with 50 per cent capacity.
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