Governor for increased focus on rainfed agriculture
SRINAGAR: Mr. N. N. Vohra, Governor, today emphasized the vital importance of State farm Universities and Agriculture Production Departments devoting specific attention towards the identification of all possible measures for improving the productivity of rainfed areas in the state. The Governor also stressed the importance of popularizing the best practices in the agriculture and horticulture sectors and providing recognition and encouragement to progressive farmers. To reach out to the maximum number of farmers, the Governor suggested that every Krishi Vigyan Kendra should organize half yearly Kissan Melas, particularly in the remote and far-off areas of the State. He also impressed upon the Vice Chancellors of the two State Farm Universities to publish the research material in vernacular languages for their wide and effective reach to the target population.
The Governor was addressing the 12th meeting of the University Council of the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Jammu, at Raj Bhavan here today.
The Governor and the Chief Minister called on the University to play a significant role in the propagation of high quality seeds and plant materials and to work according to an annual Seed Plan. The Governor observed that all available resources and expertise should be optimally utilized for producing quality seeds of various crops and ensuring their timely supply to the farmers. The Chief Minister added that possibilities should also be explored for encouraging promotion of “Agricultural Villages” with thrust on one particular crop. To make this concept viable, he urged the need for working out potential market linkages and sufficient technological and scientific support to these villages.
The Council discussed issues relating to the colossal losses caused to the existing infrastructure in the University and the Chief Minister assured financial support to repair the damaged infrastructure. Both the Chancellor and the Pro Chancellor impressed upon the Vice Chancellor to urgently complete the construction work of the University auditorium. The Chief Minister advised the Vice Chancellor to prioritize completion of all the ongoing infrastructural projects. Progress of upcoming Krishi Vigyan Kendras at Samba, Ramban and Udhampur was reviewed during the meeting and the Chief Minister asked the Agriculture Production Commissioner to ensure speedy delivery of possession of the required lands to the University.
Mr. Ghulam Hassan Mir, Minister for Agriculture, emphasized the need for optimum utilization of available resources and expertise for increasing seed production in the State and dwelt on the initiatives already being taken towards this direction. He further said that efforts need to be further intensified for increasing the production of dairy, mutton, poultry and fish in the State.
Dr. Pradeep K. Sharma, Vice Chancellor, SKUAST, Jammu, presented a detailed report on the status of teaching, research and extension activities undertaken by the varsity. He dwelt on the achievements of the University in varied fields and the new varieties of seeds of different crops which had been developed and proposals mooted to the State Government for clearing the new varieties for distribution to the farmers. He also gave details of the various ongoing research projects and those in the pipeline.
The meeting took stock of various research projects and other initiatives taken after the last meeting of the Council of the SKUAST-J, besides discussing other agenda items which included a review of the follow-up action in respect of various decisions taken at the last meeting.
The meeting was attended by Mian Altaf Ahmad, Minister for Forests; Mr. Nazir Ahmad Khan (Gurezi), Minister of State for Animal and Sheep Husbandry; Dr. Tej Pratap, Vice Chancellor, SKUAST-K; Dr. A. R. Trag, Vice Chancellor, Islamic University of Science and Technology, Awantipore; Mr. B. R. Sharma, Principal Secretary, Planning and Development; Mr. B. B. Vyas, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister and Principal Secretary, Finance; Mr. Rakesh K. Gupta, Principal Secretary to the Governor; Mr. Asgar Hassan Samoon, Commissioner, Agriculture Production; Dr. B. B. Gupta, Registrar, SKUAST, Jammu.