JAMMU: Governor N.N. Vohra, Chancellor of the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology-Jammu (SKUAST-J), inaugurated a two day “Kisan Mela” at the Chatha Campus of the University on Friday.
The Mela has been organized on the theme of “Integrated Farming: Profitable and Sustainable Farming”.
Governor complimented the Vice Chancellor, Faculty, staff and students of the University for successful completion of 17 years of its existence. He observed that the University has come a long way since its inception and is beginning to become known outside the State.
The Governor observed that agriculture and its allied sectors are the backbone of the State’s economy and it is, therefore, important that every effort is made to improve, upgrade and modernize agricultural production and allied activities. He said that the development of agriculture will benefit nearly 70 % of the State’s population and it is important to ensure that the research done in the Farm Universities is adequately focused on developing improved seeds and plants and pragmatic techniques for achieving higher productivity in the rainfed areas which comprise over 60 % of the farm lands in the State and much higher in the Jammu region.
The Governor stressed the significance of adopting integrated farming as it is the most suitable model for the arid and rainfed areas, with high potential of bringing substantial economic benefits to the farmers.
The Governor stressed the urgent need to rear quality breed of cattle and goats for the State to become self reliant in the production of dairy and meat products. He observed that the State was importing mutton, fish, poultry and milk products worth nearly two thousand crores from outside the state every year. He noted that if effective initiatives are taken, J&K should be exporting meat, fish, poultry and dairy products.
The Governor exhorted the SKUAST scientists to carry out extensive research work in this field for promoting the prosperity of the State and its farmers and stressed the need for coordination between all the agencies engaged in the enhancement of agricultural productivity so that a cohesive and holistic approach is implemented to bring rapid development in the agriculture sector of the State.
He noted that with active co-operation between all the concerned State Government Departments and their agencies, the Farm Universities, KVKs and the farmers, agricultural and allied production would be able to attain rapid growth.
Earlier the Governor visited all the stalls set up at the Mela, interacted with the farmers and scientists and appreciated the University’s initiative of organizing this Mela, which had the active participation of a number of Agricultural Universities, agriculture and allied departments, KVKs of the University and farmers.
Ghulam Nabi Lone, Minister for Agriculture Production spoke about the benefits of the Integrated Farming and initiatives which his department has taken for the larger benefit of the farmers and enhancement of agricultural production and productivity in the State.
Daljit Singh Chib, Vice-Chairman, J&K State Advisory Board for Development of Kisans and Sh. Pramod Kumar Jain, Financial Commissioner Agriculture Production Department also educated the farmers about different schemes launched for the benefit of the farming community.
Dr. Pradeep K. Sharma, Vice-Chancellor SKUAST-J presented the Welcome Address. He appealed to the farmers to visit the University’s Integrated Farming Demonstration project to gain first-hand knowledge of this approach.
The Vote of Thanks was given by Dr. K.S Risam, Director Extension, SKUAST-J.