Agripreneurship has major role to play in Atmanirbhar Bharat: VC SKUAST J

JAMMU: Prof. J.P. Sharma, Vice Chancellor, SKUAST-Jammu and SKUAST-Kashmir today delivered a distinguished lecture on ‘Agripreneurship for Atmanirbhar Bharat’ under the Distinguished Lecture Series of the World Bank Funded NAHEP project entitled “CAAST-Advanced Centre for Livestock Health” of ICAR- Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, U.P.
While inaugurating the programme Dr Triveni Dutt, Director and Vice Chancellor of ICAR-IVRI welcomed the esteemed speaker Dr J.P Sharma. He highlighted the importance of this lecture in the current scenario and emphasized on promotion of agripreneurship in the country for fulfilling the mission of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
The lecture was attended by a large number of Scientists, Scholars, entrepreneurs across the nation.
In his lecture, Prof Sharma emphasized that the entrepreneurship development in agriculture will pave the path of Atma Nirbhar Bharat. Dr Sharma informed that agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for about 58 per cent of India’s population. The share of agriculture in gross domestic product (GDP) has reached almost 20 per cent for the first time in the last 17 years, making it the sole bright spot in GDP performance during 2020-21.The resilience of the farming community in the face of adversities posed by COVID pandemic made agriculture the only sector to have clocked a positive growth of 3.4 per cent at constant prices in 2020-21, when other sectors slid.
He lauded farmers for the continuous supply of agricultural commodities, especially staples like rice, wheat, pulses and vegetables during pandemic that enabled food security. Despite various challenges, India’s food grain production is estimated to rise 2.66 per cent to be a new record of 305.43 million tons in the current crop year 2020-21. Prof Sharma elaborated that “When agriculture moves forward in the form of industry, agripreneurship opportunities are going to be created in the rural areas on a large scale.” This will create employment opportunities in the rural areas and our educated youth will get jobs in rural areas. He further briefed that there are ample opportunities of entrepreneurship development in agriculture and allied sectors viz. apiculture, mushroom cultivation, dairying, floriculture, fishery, horticulture, floriculture. He urged for diversification of horticulture in hilly areas of J&K.
He also informed that horticulture crops such as saffron, apple, dry fruits and kala zeera fetch high market prices in national and international markets. He urged the rural youth to come forward in the field of entrepreneurship for self-employment and income generation.
Dr J P Sharma appraised that the country has achieved self sufficiency in food grain production and now extension functionaries should focus on extension beyond production. He urged on processing, value addition, branding, packaging and marketing of commodities especially milk and milk products, vegetables and fruits where the losses are high and due to losses the value of these commodities declines sharply. Prof. Sharma emphasized that the Farmers’ Producers’ Organizations (FPOs) can help the farmers to realize the price of their produce. He also urged the farmers and youths to come forward for starting the food processing units.
Besides, he emphasized on developing marketing intelligence among farmers for better realization of their produce. He also regarded skill development and ARYA as the major schemes of the Government of India which can make rural youth entrepreneurs. Dr. Sharma also enumerated some case studies of successful entrepreneurs of UT of J&K and other states of India during his informative lecture.
The programme was coordinated by Dr Rupasi Tiwari, PS & Incharge ATIC who threw light on the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ (Self-reliant India Movement) which was announced by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji on May 12, 2020 with a special economic & comprehensive package of Rs 20 lakh crores which was aimed towards achieving the mission.

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