JAMMU- Managing Director, Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) Kisan, Sandeep Malhotra,Tuesday called on Principal Secretary, Agriculture Production and Farmers Welfare, Navin K Choudhary.
The MD was here to discuss modalities for providing technological interventions to farmers and horticulturists of Jammu and Kashmir.
Pertinently, IFFCO Kisan is a subsidiary of Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited (IFFCO), the largest farmer cooperative in India.
The team from IFFCO Kisan gave a detailed presentation to the Principal Secretary explaining various technological interventions in their expertise. The team explained how technological methods, or ‘agritech’, like remote sensing, hyperspectral imagery, digital profiling, portable soil testing facilities could help give hyperlocal solutions most suited to a particular farmland and its respective crop. The IFFCO Kisan would also work in partnership with NABARD to give a fillip to agriculture and allied sectors in J&K, the team further informed.
Principal Secretary asked the IFFCO Kisan representatives to submit a detailed proposal and subsequently start implementing their technologies in specified spots on pilot basis.
It was informed that crops like almonds, walnuts, olives, turmeric and few others among medicinal plants would be tested initially.
Principal Secretary informed the IFFCO Kisan team that according to a recent NITI Aayog survey, Jammu & Kashmir has jumped to overall fifth rank, in agriculture and allied sectors within a year. He added that the UT now holds third rank in average farmers’ household income.
Sharing his aim of boosting horticulture in previously untapped regions of the UT, Principal Secretary informed that the Horticulture department has planted 10 lakh plants in the last year and thrice the number is expected to be planted this year. The department aims to promote cultivation of Aloe vera and lemongrass in water deficient areas of the UT, he added. He said we are trying to give end-to-end solutions to the local farmers, so as to ensure that they are assisted from planting to marketing.
Elucidating various handholding schemes for farmers’ welfare being run by the J&K government, Principal Secretary informed that under the Integrated Dairy Development Scheme, the UT is going to become 30 percent surplus in milk production. Similarly, under Parvaz, farmers are being given 50 percent subsidy on air cargo, thereby helping their produce reach international markets in Sharjah and Dubai and eight major cities across India. It was revealed that the department is going to push towards making the UT self sufficient in cattle feed requirement as well.
Those present in the meeting included Director General Horticulture Kashmir, Ajaz Ahmad Bhat; MD J&K Agro Industries Development Corporation, Dr Arun Kumar Manhas; Director Horticulture Jammu, Ram Sevak; Director Horticulture, P&M J&K, Vishesh Paul Mahajan; Director Agriculture Jammu, KK Sharma; Director Agriculture Kashmir, Mohammad Iqbal Chowdhary and General Manager, NABARD Jammu.
Meanwhile, in another meeting between officers from FCI and the Principal Secretary, it was decided that procurement of paddy, at MSP, in mandis would be extended till December 31, this year.
The concerned officers were directed to resolve payment issues within a week’s time.