Says J&K Has Registered A Record Increase In Terms Of Area Covered Under Organic Certification
Jammu- The Union Territory administration is addressing the concerns of small & marginal farmers, and instead of narrow silos, agriculture & allied sector is being developed to ensure farm sustainability for the farmers, Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha said Tuesday.
He made these remarks while addressing the first Zonal Convention on Natural Farming at SKUAST-Jammu, an official spokesperson said.
The two-day convention on the theme “Natural Farming: A National Priority for Human Health and Ecological Restoration” will focus on the major thrust areas of environmental safety, public health and agricultural sustainability towards ensuring growth and prosperity of the farming community.
Speaking on the occasion, the official spokesperson said, that the LG congratulated AGRIVISION and SKUAST-Jammu for organizing the convention on the relevant topic of natural farming.
Sinha, he said, also stated that such deliberations will help the policy makers, planners, and farmers to focus on increasing the sustainability of farm livelihoods, environmental safety, and human health.
The spokesperson said that the LG also asserted that J&K UT is giving major impetus to natural and organic farming and has registered a record increase in terms of area covered under organic certification in a sustainable manner.
“Today, J&K is amongst the major organic producing States/UTs in the country. We are methodically developing a robust ecosystem by extending financial assistance, technological and marketing support for better realization of prices to farmers,” the LG said.
“With the combination of market linkages, large scale mechanization, organic farming, and farmer-centric reforms, we have made significant achievements in increasing our farmers’ income, wherein J&K ranks third in the list of top five states in terms of relative income of farmers. Our agriculture sector is going to contribute substantially towards realizing the goal of a self-reliant India,” he added.
According to the spokesperson, the LG observed that in the long run, organic farming with technology based assistance will reduce the input cost and usher in rural prosperity.
“Natural & organic farming can effectively tackle the challenges posed by climate change and soil degradation. We are addressing the concerns of small and marginal farmers, and instead of narrow silos, agriculture & allied sector is being developed to ensure farm sustainability for the farmers,” Sinha said.
The LG, as per the spokesperson expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making organic farming a mass movement and urged the farming community to pay more attention to diversification along with shift to organic farming.
Sinha, he said, also stressed that this integrated approach in agriculture can only facilitate sustainability and growth, thereby achieving Gram Swaraj and Anna Swaraj.
He further said that the LG also underlined the importance of harnessing the full potential of organic farming, and utilizing local resources, besides developing the infrastructure keeping in mind the requirements of the national and international markets.
“This year’s budget of the UT has a huge allocation of Rs 2835 crore for the agriculture sector and Rs 646 crore for the horticulture sector. For the development of the dairy and sheep sector, Rs 392 crore has been allocated to bring positive changes in the lives of the farming community,” the LG said.
The LG, according to the spokesperson also noted that collective efforts are being made to bring down the usage of fertilizers.
“Subsidy is being provided to the entrepreneurs under One District One Product, and dairy industry, besides nine lakh farmers will be provided with improved quality seeds. We also aim to add another two lakh metric tonnes into the food processing and storage capacity,” the LG said.
On the occasion, the spokesperson said, the LG called upon the officials and agricultural scientists to consistently disseminate relevant and authentic information to the farmers regarding the organic farming so that small and marginal farmers can also take advantage of it.
“Whilst the incentives of government facilitate move towards sustainability, our agricultural scientists must look forward to develop technologies that enhance productivity and at the same time maintain the fertility of land, besides focusing on increasing production of oilseeds, expansion of micro-irrigation facilities and use of high yielding seeds on priority basis,” Sinha said.
He also advised scientists to publish their research findings in vernacular languages making it easily accessible for the local farming community and maximum percolation of knowledge from universities to farms.
According to the spokesperson, Prof. J.P. Sharma, VC, SKUAST-Jammu in his address lauded the Lt Governor led government for promoting innovation, incubation, start up, national saffron mission, high density plantation, custom hiring, central machinery bank, value addition, processing, marketing and transportation of perishable agriculture produce at reasonable rates for hand holding and increasing income of the farmers of the UT.
“It is time to take big steps, take agriculture out of labs, and associate it with nature,” he added.