Organic farming key for safeguarding health of all, enhance farmer returns: VC
SRINAGAR: SK University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology will be showcasing its latest technological inputs at its upcoming exhibition that will be aimed at boosting and better managing organic farming.
Taking to media Vice Chancellor SKUAST-K Prof. Nazeer Ahmed Ganai on Friday sadi that given that fact that for safeguarding both human, animal health and our environment SKUAST in line with government policy will be displaying its organic based technology, interventions and related expertise for packaging, promoting such organic products in the upcoming exhibition.
He said apart from technological advancement in other sectors, this 7th exhibition this year will also feature Hi-tech farming practices that are gaining traction due to diminishing land resources..
About adoption of organic farming in the valley Dr Nazir said that the scientific fraternity at the varsity is pursuing technology to help farmers in for a gradual switchover for not only adopting organic practices, but they are also keen on safeguarding some of the naturally existing agricultural and horticultural products that by default are organic given the still prevalent practice of natural farming in many areas of the Kashmir Valley .
He added that several areas in the valley have been identified in this regard that still have been practising organic farming and the University is keen to help them maintain this pattern, given the fact that the such produce in markets across the world gives better remuneration to the farmers and there is ample score for upscaling sale of such products with proper branding and certification.
Giving an example of walnuts, Dr Nazir said that given the fact that our walnut produce is by itself organic as its growing is devoid of any chemical or unnatural practices, but for lack of branding this produce around it being organic robs the growers of the best returns on them.
Director Extension at SKUAST-K Dr Dil Mohammad Makhdoomi said that given the fact that shift to organic has to be gradual and there a sudden switchover is not possible as our production system has been primarily based on use of synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators that over the needs to be slowly limited and shifted back to now scientific based organic procedures with university scientists working on products that will bring out this change in near future.
He added that given their experience, they have found that the usage of pesticides and chemical fertilisers is still less than the national average and a promising thing is the emergence of organic farming areas in the valley have seen growers reap the benefits of going organic mostly vegetables , apiculture and the university will also encourage such farmers in the upcoming mela.
Makhdoomi said that devised inputs will be for sale as well as for demonstration purposes for the farming community there will be stalls exclusively demonstrating and selling organic products.
All such interventions, inputs will be for sale as well as for demonstration purposes for the farming community of the region. There will be stalls exclusively demonstrating and selling organic products.
About certification of such farm products, the VC SKUAST said that they are working for this along with other developmental departments and are hopeful that in future they will be able to certify products within the Valley on the basis of being produced in an organic way.
Later the scientists at the university gave a detailed presentation on organic vegetable farming carried at the university campus Shalimar.
Giving details about the organic farming initiative taken by the division of vegetable sciences , Dr Faheema Mushtaqa from the division of vegetable sciences said that they at the division have succeeded in carrying out organic farming in its field.
She said that the scientists at the division are passing on the expertise on how to achieve this shift to the farmers and several pockets in the valley have excelled in producing organic vegetables.
She said that inputs on this need to be followed from procuring seeds upto post harvest level , taking due care of soil health with usage of organic manures, bio-control of pests and above all safeguarding irrigation from accidentally adding any undue chemicals to the fields.
As usual the 7th exhibition will see participation of all the KVK’s, approved planting material providers and all other divisions of the varsity showcasing their technology and other inputs.