SOPORE: To ensure food security and doubling farmer’s income in the state by 2022, Minister for Agriculture Muhammad Khalil Bandh on Wednesday directed the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences (SKUAST) authorities to develop ‘Integrated Farming System Model’ within two months for the state.
He made these remarks during the celebration of Wheat and Barley Day at Wadura, Sopore campus of SKUAST-K.
Complimenting the scientists of SKUAST-K for developing varieties like SR-3 and SR-4, Bandh said these varieties had the potential to produce around 70 quintals of grain per hectare, an official release read.
Given the perspective of climate change, degradation of natural resources and fragmentation of arable land, the agriculture minister stressed on the scientists to “take up strategic and applied research on region-specific niche crops”.
He also said that localisation policy needed to be formulated by Agriculture Production Department in collaboration with SKUAST-K for all specific needs.
Maintaining that quality human resources was a big challenge for developing technology-based and entrepreneurship-driven agriculture sector, the agriculture minister exhorted the SKUAST-K professors to set some targets such as increasing the per hectare agriculture to a certain level up to the certain period.
“Majority of the population in the state is dependent on the agriculture sector, which has not shown a marginal growth. We should aim at reducing imports from other states and emerge as exporting state in the agriculture and livestock sector by ensuring proper utilisation of land and water resources,” he said during his maiden visit to the campus.
The minister also directed for intensifying awareness campaigns in all areas of the state for educating farmers’ community about the latest trends in the agriculture sector, it further read
The minister also visited different farms of wheat and barley and enquired about the potential of cultivated varieties from researchers and scientists.
Integrated Farming System Model is a combination of different agricultural activities in an area of land and is aimed at maximising product return, maintaining soil status and fertility and utilising the by-products of one component of the farming system as an input in other for ensuring supplementary and complementary enterprise relationship besides reducing environment pollution.