Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura underscored the need for establishment of Cluster Zones in the tourist areas for organic vegetable cultivation. He also asked the officers of Agriculture department to promote Red rice, Mushkubudji, Beekeeping, Mushroom and Vegetable cultivation in the Valley.
The Minister was addressing a meeting to review the physical and financial achievements during 2016-17 and implementation of State and Centrally Sponsored Schemes besides activities of the Agriculture Department of Kashmir Division, here today.
The meeting was attended by Commissioner Secretary, Agriculture Production Department Sanjeev Verma, Director Agriculture Kashmir Altaf Aijaz Andrabi, Director Command Area Development Itrat Hussain Rafaqi, Director Planning APD Mohammad Rafiq Matoo, Special Assistant to Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Nabi Bhat, Chief Engineer, Mechanical Engineering Department Kashmir, Director Rakhs and Farms, Joint Director of Agriculture and all Chief Agriculture Officers of Kashmir Division besides Senior Officers of Mechanical Engineering Department.
During the meeting, the Minister directed the concerned to complete the process of providing irrigation facilities to the saffron growers by the end of this year. It was also directed that Spice Park should also be completed by August 2017.
The Minister further directed the Agriculture department for preparing Detailed Project Report (DPR) for Gurez Snow Pea and production of virus free potato. He also asked them that Narkara, Bugam and Takan Wari villages should be brought under Paramparagat Krishri Vikas Yojna for an organic Vegetable Production Zone.
The Minister stressed that a Task Force will be constituted to address the water logging problem of Padgam Pora Farm which is an asset to the department and can meet the need of the seed in Kashmir division.
For revival of the agrostology farms, he directed that the department should come up a comprehensive proposal for its revival.
The Minister desired that the State should move towards an organic farming goal and act accordingly. The State has a comparative advantage because of its climate and can easy be converted into an organic State, the Minister said.
It was informed in the meeting that an amount of Rs 26.22 crore were incurred on various agriculture activities under Centrally Sponsored Schemes in Kashmir Division during 2016-17 and Rs 2.39 crore have been utilized up to March 2017 under Capex Budget.
It was also given out in the meeting that under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) Rs 5. 57 crore, under National Mission on Saffron (NMS) Rs 7.11 crore and under Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) Rs 1.61 crore have been utilized during 2016-17.
The meeting was also told that under National Mission on Oilseeds and Oilpalm (NMOOP) Rs 0.18 Crore, under National Food Security Mission (NFSM) Rs 2.02 crore and under National Mission on Agriculture Extension and Technology (NMAET) Rs 6.28 crore were incurred up to March, 2017. It was also given out that under Centrally Sponsored Scheme PMKSY Rs 1.59 crore, National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) Rs 1.23 crore and under PMFBY Rs 0.15 crore have been utilized during 2016-2017.
Taking stock of Potato cultivation in the valley, Mr Hanjura directed the concerned to prepare a comprehensive plan for development of Potato Seed Farm at Bosain Village in Barramulla district immediately so that same could be forwarded to NABARD for arrangement of funds.
The Minister underscored the need for exploring the possibility for lifting of water at Chrawani Village for distribution of irrigation facilities to Chari-e- Sharief area for Saffron cultivation. He also asked the concerned to work with utmost dedication and ensure promotion of Mushkibudji in Budgam district on the pattern of Sagam Kokernag.
The Minister said that the Agriculture department is important department and 70 percent of the population depends upon agriculture activities. He said that development of our farming community is must for development of State so it is our prime duty to work with coordination.
While taking stock of distribution of hybrid seeds during 2016-2017 and the activities of the Vegetable Nurseries, it was informed in the meeting that the Seed Farm at Lal Mandi is popular in the Valley.
The Minister directed the concerned to gear up their field functionaries and ensure timely availability of good quality of fertilizers and hybrid seeds to the farmers. He also asked the concerned to motivate the farmers of the remote areas for organic farming which he said will help them in increasing the farmer’s income double.
Taking stock of Nuner Farm and Lavender Farm, the Minister stressed for expansion of available Floriculture Farms in the Valley.
Commissioner Secretary, APD also spoke on the occasion and directed the officers to work with utmost dedication and stressed for organic farming. He asked the concerned to involve SKAUST in this regard.
Earlier, Director Agriculture Kashmir gave resume of the agriculture activities of the Kashmir Division through power point presentation.