BANDIPORA: District Development Commissioner (DDC) Bandipora, Shahbaaz Ahmed Mirza on Wednesday urged the unemployed youth of the district to invest in agriculture sector “which has a huge potential of employment generation in the state”.
He stressed on the officers of the agriculture, horticulture and other allied sectors to raise awareness among the unemployed youth of the district about the avenues available in this sector. He said the government through several schemes was assisting the people in establishing farms and orchards “and till date there have been hundreds of success stories in the sector”, an official handout read.
The DDC asked the youth to take a lead from the successful farmers and to start their own business so that they not only become employed but will provide employment to others as well.
The DDC in a meeting with the officers set targets for the departments of agriculture, horticulture, animal and sheep husbandry, fisheries, sericulture and other allied departments for the current year and urged them to take measures to increase the agriculture produce so that the district becomes self-sufficient. The meeting was attended by Joint Director Planning, Imtiyaz Ahmad, District Agriculture Officer, Mohammad Qasim, Chief Horticulture Officer, Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, chief animal husbandry officer, assistant director fishries and other senior officers of the district.
He said the use of modern scientific techniques and high quality seeds and fertilisers would ensure better produce and urged the officers to ensure the availability of better quality seeds and fertilisers for the farmers. He also asked the officers to hold regular meetings with the farmers and to guide them for use of scientific techniques in their farming, the handout read.
The DDC said that the horticulture had a tremendous scope in the district with the potential to grow quality fruit crops particularly apple, cherry and walnut. He said, “60 percent population is involved directly or indirectly with horticulture sector while the revenue earned on account of export of fruit crop from the district has reached to a level of Rs 32 crores annually.”
While stating that the agriculture, dairy farming, apiculture, fisheries were leading activities in the district and large number of people were involved in the job, Mirza called for strengthening of these sectors with a special devised project to uplift this sector.
He also stressed on upgrading the organic vegetable clusters at villages Ganstan and Watpora by way of budgetary support in terms of package of practices, seeds, processing and marketing.
Mirza said that the district is bestowed with the world’s largest fresh water lake -Wular, which is the sole source of income to about 2,000 families who are activity involved in fishing practices within the lake as 4,600 tons of fish are harvested annually from this lake alone, the handout added.
During the meeting, the DDC called for creating mass awareness about several schemes so that youngsters were attracted towards the sector and to avail the benefit of the schemes.