‘Agriculture should be made a glamorous enterprise’
SRINAGAR: Administrative Secretary Agriculture Production Department (APD), Manzoor Ahmad Lone on Tuesday stressed upon the officers to devise a strategy for making agriculture a remunerative and a profitable venture, adding that that agriculture should be made a ‘glamorous’ enterprise by turning farmers into agricultural entrepreneurs.
Lone was speaking during a review meeting held with senior officers of agriculture department here at Agriculture Complex Lalmandi. Director Agriculture Kashmir, Syed Altaf Aijaz Andrabi was also present. The meeting was attended by all the joint directors, deputy directors, divisional level officers and chief agriculture officers of Kashmir division.
Secretary APD took a thorough review of the physical and financial achievements made in the state and GoI-sponsored schemes and some prestigious projects in agriculture, an official handout read.
He instructed the officers to increase their touring and monitoring so that basic field functionaries of the department would reach to the farmers at their door steps. He stressed upon organising awareness programmes and emphasised upon the need of intervention “so that there is a significant impact of the agriculture department at ground level”.
He said, “Modern agriculture technologies and agriculture programmes must reach to the maximum number of farmers.” Lone instructed the officers for supplying high quality, high yielding and resistant varieties of crop seeds to farmers to increase the production. He instructed the officers that Panchayat Raj institutions must be taken on board while distributing seeds and implementing of various agriculture programmes, read the handout.
Lone took stock of the kharief and rabi programmes and production status of various crops. He also took stock of the availability of all kinds of seeds and of chemical fertilisers as well. He instructed the officers that there must be a good impact of the laying of seed villages so that maximum number of farmers were covered.
The secretary also reviewed the apiculture and mushroom sectors. Lone took a brief review of National Saffron Mission especially laying of irrigation system for the saffron fields and orders for framing of a committee to find out what modus operandi could be adopted for taking the irrigation system set up to its final conclusion. He also took review of quality control lab and stressed for increasing the strength of the quality control laboratory at Lalmandi for increasing the testing capacity upto 32 molecules of different pesticides or fertilisers, the handout read.
Earlier, Director Agriculture Kashmir Syed Altaf Aijaz Andrabi made a detailed presentation of the production status of various crops, seed and fertiliser availability, physical and financial achievements in all state and GoI-sponsored schemes and other important projects. He informed the meeting that apiculture sector had a potential of 7 lakh colonies which could give a production of 1680 tonnes of honey and generate an income of Rs 119 crores in the Valley. “6 lakh soil health cards have already been issued to the farmers during the last two years to increase precision and accuracy of application of fertilisers by the farmers,” he said, adding that in Kashmir division area under paddy was 141.340 thousand hectares with a production of 954.05 MT and productivity of 67.7 quintals per hectare and “under maize we have an area of 80.47 thousand hectares with a production of 258.37 thousand MT with productivity of 32.0 quintals per hectare and under vegetables we have an area of 22.518 thousand hectares with an production of 743 MT having a productivity of 330 quintals per hectare”.
He further said that Kashmir had a vast potential of producing and exporting vegetables and that vegetables worth Rs 900 crores were exported to other states during the hot season and the department was making efforts to strengthen the areas under vegetable clusters such as Bugam, Narkara and also vegetable clusters of other districts in the Valley to give boost to production and to increase marketing facilities, the handout added.