Land conversion for non agricultural purposes greatest threat to our sustainability: Dir Agri

SRINAGAR: Director Agriculture Kashmir Altaf Aijaz Andrabi today warned that the large scale conversion of agricultural land into non agricultural use shall create an imbalance in the agricultural eco- system and the change in land pattern would be the greatest concern to food security and economic sustainability in Kashmir.
He said that while speaking at inaugurating of day long workshop on land conversion for non-agricultural use – its catastrophic effect on our sustenance which was organized by the Joint Directorate of Agriculture Extension Kashmir at Lalmandi, Srinagar.
He said that the Kashmir valley is temperate region which otherwise has the potential to be world leader because of its unique identity in agro based products however, change in land use pattern has arguably been the most pervasive socio economic force which has caused imbalance in the eco system.
Director said that the Cessation of this pattern is a critical element in achieving long term economic growth and sustainable development of the society as a whole but the land use policy has to be designed in a way that it should strike a balance between private proprietary right and public interest, he added.
He said that according to the census report published by the Union Agriculture Ministry and as per the latest National Agriculture Census agriculture land in J&K UT continues to shrink and the average size of holding has reduced from 0.62 hectare per person to 0.59 hectare in the last five years.
Director said that keeping in view the catastrophic effect of rapid land conversion this one day training program has been designed to develop the understanding of the field functionaries of the Department of Agriculture about the implications of the land conversation and to educate them about the implementation of J&K Agrarian Act and J&K Land Revenue Act to stop conversion of agriculture land.
Director said that it is the prime responsibility of this Department to reach out to all the media houses, schools, colleges with a message about the effects of land conversion and to start an effective campaign against this menace.
While elaborating the need to curb land conversion, Joint Director Agriculture Extension, Chowhary Mohammad Iqbal presented a detailed power point presentation on agriculture land conversion and food security – a thematic analysis. He said that such training programs will act as a catalyst in educating the officers and other stakeholders about land conversion.
Various speakers from the Agriculture, Revenue and Irrigation Department gave presentations on the topic during the day long programme.
The training program was also attended by Joint Director Agriculture Inputs Amir ud din Andrabi, Project Coordinator Mushrooms Farooq Ahmad Shah, Director Rakhs and Farms Subash Chandra, Deputy Director Agriculture Central Dr. Syed Waseem Ahmad Shah, representatives of Revenue Department, Command Area Development Department, Chief Engineer Irrigation Department, senior officers of the Department of Agriculture.

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