Agricultural Modernization Opens Up New Vistas of Employment, Entrepreneurship and Income Generation

Tasneem Mubarak

Agriculture is one of the oldest activities carried out by human beings for centuries together. Starting from the gathering of wild grains in the beginning to planting of seeds some eleven and a half thousand years back, this sector has seen a spectacular transformation especially in the twentieth century till this time. It kept on evolving as per the demand and existing situations all over the globe. Agriculture with all allied sectors including Horticulture, Animal husbandry, Fishery, Poultry, Apiculture, Sericulture and so on have witnessed phenomenal changes over the time. Despite all these developments we see youth in general are distancing themselves from agriculture and trying to shift to other professions for sustaining livelihood and income. Drudgery and unstable returns has been major factors of this disinterest. Thus in the era of nanotechnology and precision farming being carried out in the developed countries a minimum modernization in agriculture practices would lure the huge chunk of unemployed youth in this sector especially in our state. Unlike Kashmir Valley, other parts of country have witnessed a good development in the field of mechanization to reduced drudgery and for efficient use of natural resources
Due to fragmented land and entirely different terrain, the valley needed location specific equipments and machinery which were missing until recently. In recent years we have seen small tillers, powe rsprayers, weeders and brush cutters and so on available in every nook and corner of the valley with extremely good adoption. These implements and machinery are making farming easy and attractive for farmers , in general, and youth , in particular. Revolution in the field of Information technology, Mechanization, Crop breeding and Genetic modification, Irrigation, quality planting material with latest infrastructure in terms of crop support, inter-culture, and post harvest management including advanced grading packing and storage facilities are now creating good job opportunities and agri-entrepreneurs. There is need to replicate the success stories and demonstrate the potential technologies through the concerned agencies. SKUAST-Kashmir at main campus and through different units, stations and KVKs spread all over valley and Ladakh region is trying level best to take these technologies to the doorsteps of farmers in close coordination with line department.
Demonstrations are established at instructional farms to motivate farmers based on the principle of ‘seeing is believing’ and provision for skill Development trainings to the youth are available at KrishiVigyanKendras ( Agriculture Science Centers) in each district. A good influx of interested farmers, particularly the youth is now seen at KVKs. Those who are unaware about the setup are requested through the media to be in close touch with these Centers to realize untapped potential in this sector. A close coordination between nodal agencies and end users is mantra for prosperity and stability in the take home income. At the end I would like to quote a great Agriculture Scientist and father of Green Revolution in India Professor Swami Nathan who said that as long as human brain works every malady may have a remedy.

—The Author can be reached at: drtasneem.mubarak@gmail.com