SRINAGAR: Prolonged dry spell in the Valley may have an effect on the cultivation of major commodities like rice, maize, etc. and production of these commodities is likely to come down sharply, if the absence of summer rains prevails. Under such circumstances of fast changing agri-climatic scenario, agriculture department has to come up with a workable contingency plan to mitigate the impact of prevailing situation. This was stated by Director Agriculture Kashmir, Syed Altaf Aijaz Andrabi after inaugurating a daylong conference-cum-workshop here at Lalmandi Srinagar.
A brain storming session was held in the conference to discuss the steps to be taken up by the department to minimise and compensate the impact of present agro-climatic conditions and to make farming community ready to face the weather unpredictability, a handout read.
Speaking on the occasion, director agriculture said that as the climate change makes drought like situations more frequent, the department has to take steps accordingly, so that farmer’s interests may not suffer. He said, “Agriculture is in a transit stage and it has to shift from a traditional activity to a modern entrepreneur based franchise.”
He said cultivation of crops should be market-linked and governed by demand.
“High value crops need to be promoted that can fetch higher returns and contribute to the socio-economic development of farmers”, he said.
Andrabi impressed upon the participants to take present agriculture scenario as a challenge and put all their experience and expertise into working to safeguard the farmer’s interests and well-being.
He stressed upon making coordinated efforts between different allied wings of agriculture, in order to address the farmer’s concerns raised by the prevailing prolonged dry-spell.
He said, “Devising a mitigation strategy, introduction of drought mitigation technology, use of new farming practices that require less water are some of the steps that need to be immediately taken into consideration.”