Advisor to Governor Farooq Ahmad Khan Tuesday impressed upon the Agriculture Department to market the Jammu and Kashmir's agricultural products with proper tag of the State.
The Advisor asked the officials to give fillip to the organic farming by specifying areas for its implementation in the state. He was speaking in a meeting held to review the agricultural scenario in the state.
Secretary, Agriculture Manzoor Ahmad Lone, Director Agriculture Kashmir Altaf Aijaz Andrabi, Director Agriculture Jammu PS Rathore, Director Sericulture Riyaz Ahmad Wani, Director Command Area Development Kashmir Mohammad Haroon Malik, MD Agro RK Rakhwal, Director Rakhs and Farms, Chief Agricultural Officers of Kashmir Division and other senior officials of the concerned departments attended the meeting.
The Advisor impressed upon the officials to certify popular cash crops of the state under the brand name of the State. He enjoined upon the officials that the Unique Selling Point (USP) of the products belonging to the state needs to be properly highlighted. He suggested them to attach descriptions about the uses and benefits of each such product for the benefit of the users, adding such steps would help in their value addition.
Khan called for including the real stakeholders in orientation programmes who have to apply the knowledge in the field. He urged them to transfer the latest technology to them so that their earnings get enhanced. He encouraged the officials to update their knowledge and skills by keeping themselves abreast with latest research and techniques. He advised for making the farming highly remunerative and respectable to lure the youth towards it.
The Advisor directed the department to strengthen the quality control mechanism so that the menace of spurious fertilizers and pesticides is rooted out. He asked for the quality check of these chemicals randomly and regularly. He also suggested specifying areas for organic farming in all the three Divisions and use relevant practices by consulting scientists from regional universities and experts.
The Secretary, Agriculture informed the meeting that Agriculture Department is an interventionist department and it orients people towards adopting better practices. He said that state is making all out efforts in doubling income of farmers by implementing different state and centrally sponsored schemes here. He informed the meeting that price intervention and supply of quality inputs in agriculture is proving beneficial for meeting the objective.
During the meet, the Advisor was informed that state has made strides in the agriculture sector from the past several decades. The average yield of crops has increased from around seven quintal per hectare in 1950 to 36 quintals per hectare. He was apprised that the net cultivated area of the state is around 7.52 lakh hectare with 3.48 lakh hectares of net irrigated area benefitting some 11.93 lakh families, the meeting was informed.
All the heads of the departments presented their achievements and proposals before the Advisor. The Advisor gave his suggestions to be inculcated in the future plans. He instructed them to make their knowledge available to the end beneficiaries for its proper utilization.
Meanwhile, the Advisor also inaugurated the training program on "Inspection, Sampling and Prosecution Procedures Under Insecticides Act, 1968 (ISPP)" organised by Directorate of Agriculture Kashmir in collaboration with National Institute of Plant Health Management, (NIPHM) Hyderabad. Later, he also inspected the outlet of Agro showroom in the premises. He advised them to tap the tourism potential of the state in marketing their products, besides opening of more such outlets at the places where there is maximum footfall in the state.