SRINAGAR, OCTOBER 30: Jammu and Kashmir Government has taken innovative measures and policy decisions to increase the income of the farmers and encourage youth to adopt agriculture as a medium of employment.
Over the past two years, the government has shifted to the improved farming system on scientific lines and market-oriented policies in order to make agriculture and allied sector a sustainable and profitable economic activity.
Notably, braving all the challenges of agricultural reform, ranking of J&K in monthly farm income has improved and J&K UT is standing tall among top 5 States/UTs.
J&K has limitless potential in agriculture and concerted efforts by Government are opening up doors of opportunity for small and marginal farmers. Never before had high-density plantation investment in agro-based industries taken place at the kind of speed witnessed in the last two years.
J&K Government has focused on creating umbrella groups for selling local and small scale products, besides holding brainstorming sessions on the innovations happening in various categories of start-ups in agriculture such as agro-processing, artificial intelligence, digital agriculture, agricultural mechanization, waste to wealth, dairy, fisheries, and other entrepreneurship programs.
Green Agriculture Revolution, and the contribution of Agricultural Universities, Institutions and Krishi Vigyan Kendras has changed the way of farming in an innovative way by extending benefits of modern technologies to the farmers.
Government is developing strategies and credible mechanisms for upscaling of farmers-led innovations and further strengthening the spirit of “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” and making J&K ‘AatmaNirbhar’ (self-reliant) in agriculture sectors besides a host of measures for achieving faster growth in the agriculture sector along-with providing sustainable income and livelihood to farmers have also initiated.
Today, J&K has thousands of Agri-preneurs, Champion Farmers whose lives were changed with the support of the UT administration. Even many women agri-preneurs encouraged others to take up farming and earn a respectable income.
Karrtar Chand of Rattal Udhampur was motivated by continuous and persistent efforts of Department of Horticulture Udhampur for establishing the nursery of fruit plants under Private Sector in his land. With the intervention of technical and subsidy support form Department, he established good quality nursery in an area of 20 Kanals.
He started producing the quality and elite planting material of fruit crops like Strawberry, Walnut, Apple and Apricot. Further his production capacity has been increased upto 350000 fruit plants per annum including Strawberry Runner. His nursery has been registered by department of Horticulture and further accredited by National Horticulture Board, Gurugram. On an average he is earning @ Rs. 6.00 Lakhs (Rupees Six Lakhs)/annum from the sale of fruit plants, beside providing/generating 1500 mandays employment per annum.
Similarly, many female members of Self Help Groups are involved in value addition and processing of fruit and vegetable products in Reasi area. Earlier these women were using old and laborious time consuming methods of drying and processing. These members of SHGs were given training in the art of processing and drying of several fruit and vegetable products like aonla candy, mango leather, raw mango, mushroom, masala tikki, vegetables etc by the department. The Department also provided an assistance to these ladies for purchasing 34 Solar Dryers on 50% subsidy during 2021-22 under UT CAPEX budget.
These solar dryers take 1-2 days for drying of their produce which otherwise used to take 10-15 days. Now these ladies are using these solar dryers due to which their job has become less laborious, time saving, hygienic and the quality of the products has also improved drastically as the natural colour and aroma are retained in the final product.