Srinagar: An interface of progressive organic farmers of the valley and scientists of the organic group in the university had an interaction programme at Shalimar campus wherein both the scientists and the farming community shared their views.
Vice-Chancellor Prof.Nazir Ahmad Ganai chaired the session, besidesDirector Extension Prof Dil Mohammad Makhdoomi, Director Research Prof Sarfaraz Ahmad Wani, Dr. M.Y. Zargar Prof.Emeritus and Prof Sheikh Bilal formerly Dean Faculty of Agriculture also participated. Hon’ble Vice Chancellor apprised the house about need of the organic farming viz-a-vizthe slogan of the PM of India. SKUAST-K is going to organize 7th Technology Exhibition-cum-Seed Sale Melain which the organic farming will be the theme thrust area he said. Hon’ble Vice Chancellor also informed the house about the impact of various varieties that have been developed by SKUAST-K and impressed upon the scientists to issue an atlas of the varieties with their utility which could reach to the farming community. In his address, Prof Dil Mohammad Makhdoomi, Director Extension laid stress on the natural farming and organic farming and presented to the house the number of progressive farmers dealing with the variety of the organic products ranging from walnut, almond, apple, honey and some flowers.
Dr. M.Y. Zargar Prof Emeritus discussed the prelude of organic farming to highlight the need of organic agriculture, its scope, potential and strategies of SKUUST-K with respect to the organic farming particularly in Gurez which need to be declared as organic zone. The Vice Chancellor said that any product coming from Gurez area will be taken synonymous to organic farming. Prof Sheikh Bilal, Ex Dean Agriculture, while citing the example of Buckweed from Kargil which is grown in organic way informed that the same can be cultivated in Kashmir Division also.
While exchanging their views and ideas, the scientists apprised the farmers about the latest technological developments for boosting the organic sector in the region. The leading organic farmers of the valley appreciated the support from the Varsity, empowering them with the technical knowhow and guiding them to success. The farmers sheared their experience and apprised the scientists about the bottlenecks and difficulties encountered in the sector. Mr. Sajad, an orchardist cultivating apple desired up scaling the use of biocontrol agents i.e. biopesticides to manage the pest problem in organic orchards. He informed that the organic apple fetched higher price in national market. Mr. Khurshid Ahmad Wani, member of Organic Group, also, requested scientists to come up with organic measures for controlling red mite and scab.