Editorial: Redoubling of efforts needed

To witness a turnaround in the declining agricultural produce in the state, the government is planning and initiating some unique projects. One such project is the ‘Climate Resilient’ project, that has been taken up at two places, Budgam and Bhalwal blocks.

So far the government has spent Rs 5 lakh in Budgam block and similarly Rs 14 lakh have been spent in Bhalwal block in Jammu. The projects would be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 12 crore each.

The projects have been initiated to tackle water scarcity as a result of climate change, the projects would provide water and other irrigational facilities to farm lands in hilly parched areas of the State. The project will also envisages to minimize adverse effects of climate change and enhance agricultural production in the state. 

It has been decided that the climate resilient aggregation project in block Bhalwal in Jammu and Surisyar block in Budgam would be started at a project cost of Rs 22.5 lakh. The ambit of these projects would be extended to the other parts of the State to realize the objective of enhanced resilience of agriculture crops, livestock and fisheries through development and application of improved production and management technologies.       

The government besides, starting this project is already into strengthening of the already established mechanism of coordination between research institutes and agriculture department.

The Lab to land transfer of technology, seeds and their trials are being actively pursued so as to ensure doubling the farmers income by 2022.

However, J&K’s performance vis-à-vis implementation of almost all the Centrally Sponsored Schemes in agriculture sector has remained dismal till date.

Though it is being repeatedly said that expanding the agricultural activities are a must so as to increase productivity, which will help in achieving the goal of doubling farmers’ income are required to translate instructions into reality.

Had there been required seriousness in implementing the Centrally Sponsored Schemes, the expenditure for the financial year 2016-17 could not have been less than 60%. J&K doesn’t have enough resources to ensure turnaround in any sector as such it is mostly dependent on the assistance from the Union Government.

But when it comes to make use of the funds the administration fails to perform much to the disappointment of concerned Ministry as well as the bosses at the top level.

As far as less than 60% utilization of funds under Centrally Sponsored Schemes in agriculture sector is concerned, the Government needs to establish a dedicated cell in the Agriculture Production Department, which shall exclusively coordinate with the field level functionaries to periodically review utilization of funds so that J&K doesn’t lag behind in meeting the target of doubling the income of farmers by 2020.

The objective of all the Centrally Sponsored Schemes is to make available all those facilities which will help in bringing more area under agricultural activities as such full utilization of funds becomes imperative.

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