KATHUA: Minister for Forests, Environment and Ecology, Chaudhry Lal Singh said that agriculture is being made an employment-oriented and alluring vocation for the new generation cultivators as the field is a major contributor towards nation’s economy and sustainability.
The Minister was speaking as a chief guest at “Two Day State Level Seminar on Awareness, Motivation and Technology Transfer in Beekeeping in J&K” held here Sunday. The program was sponsored by National Bee Board (NBB), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and organized by Arya Gramodhyog Sansthan.
Speaking on the occasion, Lal Singh said that a farmer faces lot of problems especially the vagaries of weather, besides fragmented land with poor yield to sustain his family and it is high time that they should switch over to more lucrative vocations like Apiculture (Bee keeping). “Not only the farmers make sweet dividends but bee keeping also helps in increasing agriculture productivity through pollination,” the minister added.
He advocated a three-pronged strategy under which one-third of the farming activity should be earmarked for traditional crops, one-third for poultry, fishery, bee-keeping and one-third for planting trees to get timber.
The minister said that the Kandi areas, which are devoid of irrigational facilities and where farmers use less quantity of fertilizers and pesticides can become an ideal place for producing organic Honey. At the same time, he encouraged the youth, farmers and women to take proper training for capacity building by expert bee breeders and bee keepers with the help of organizers of this programme.
Elaborating various initiatives being taken up by the Forest Department to give fillip to tourism, the minister said that Ranjit Sagar Dam and Jasrota will soon be developed as major tourist destination with all the modern tourist facilities besides world class amusement park and latest water sports activities at Ranjit Sagar Dam. He also added that ponds at Jasrota will be rejuvenated and their beautification will be done to conserve the natural water bodies and preserving our heritage.
Principal Chief Conservators of Forest, Ravi Kesar said that the awareness program has been organized for dissemination of information on technological advancement in the field of beekeeping for farmers through capacity building programmes and training of bee breeders and beekeepers, processing, research work besides conducting of seminars.
He also said that after successive losses in traditionally grown crops due to various natural calamities, the farmers especially the landless farmers should opt for moveable apiaries to supplement their income.
Earlier, several resource persons spoke on bee keeping and its allied activities to encourage the farmers to opt for bee keeping as it increases the employment opportunity in rural sector.
A book titled ‘Souvenir’ was also released on the occasion having detailed description on bee keeping.
Ex MLA Basohli, Kanta Andotra; HODs of Forest Department, District officers, DFOs and farmers in large numbers were present in the program.