srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir’s agriculture sector is already feeling impact of the climate change, Government of India’s Secretary for Department of Agriculture Research and Education, Dr S Ayyappan, said Wednesday.
“Climate change is a real challenge in the agriculture sector. Its adverse effect is already being felt in Jammu and Kashmir,” Dr Ayyappan, who is also the Director General of Indian Council of Agriculture Research, said while speaking at the 4th Convocation of the SK University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Jammu.
The Convocation was held in the University’s General Zorawar Singh Auditorium. Chief Guest Dr Ayyappan suggested measures, such as introduction of crops with low water requirements, management of soil and water, conservation of agriculture, and efficient use of energy, to reduce impact of climate change on productivity.
Chancellor of the University, Governor NN Vohra, presided over the function. He awarded 52 Ph D degrees in Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, 317 Master degrees in Agriculture, Biotechnology and Veterinary Sciences, 358 Bachelor degrees in Agriculture Biotechnology and Veterinary Sciences, nine Gold Medals, and 173 Certificates of Merit.
Addressing the gathering, Vohra said over 70 per cent of the state’s population is dependent on agriculture and its allied sectors.
“Any stagnation or adverse effects in this sector would have serious consequences on achieving targets of food security and the economic wellbeing of farmers,” he said.
Expressing concern over the fall in the annual food grain production in the state, the Governor asked the scientists to identify the factors leading to slow growth and decrease in production.
He highlighted the need to take new initiatives for significantly improving the production and productivity, particularly of the small and marginal land holdings.
To make the state self-reliant and a net exporter in agriculture in the coming years, the Governor stressed on the need for “efficient utilization of limited land resources, modernizing agricultural practices, large scale and sustained seed replacement programme, introduction of high yielding varieties, ensuring adequate irrigation facilities, and adoption of multi-cropping patterns.”
He appreciated the progress achieved in the past years in improving the Seed Replacement Rate.
He said the farmers, entrepreneurs, and scientists should suggest innovations in promoting value addition to the farm products.
“By taking the required measures, the state will not only meet its own requirements but also generate surpluses which would contribute to the socioeconomic development of the state and generate employment opportunities,” he said.