Experts on Tuesday said that Jammu will become a hub for export of quality basmati rice in India.
This was said during a one-day workshop on ‘Quality improvement in production of Basmati rice for export’ at Chatha, wherein about 225 farmers from Basmati rice growing region of Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts participated and was attended by the national and state level experts of Basmati rice.
According to a statement, the workshop was organized by Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (Jammu), in collaboration with Basmati Export Development Foundation (BEDF), APEDA, Government of India, organized one day workshop and focused on the production, marketing, utilization and export of Basmati rice in context of development of entrepreneurship.
“A high level exchange of knowledge between the scientists, farmers and field functionaries to develop the road map for Basmati rice farming was taken up during the workshop, a spokesman said in the statemnet.
During the programme, the spokesman said, the official website of Society for Integrated Development of Agriculture, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences (SIDAVES) was launched by Prof. P.K. Sharma, Vice Chancellor of SKUAST-J and the chief guest of the workshop.
Prof. Pardeep Kumar Sharma congratulated the farmers for their enthusiastic participation in the workshop and appealed them to maintain the quality of their basmati produce to fetch a good price in the market and double the income of basmati growers.
He advised the farmers to keep in touch with the scientists and experts for any kind of problems in their fields.
He appealed to the basmati growers to be prepared to register themselves with the online portal to be launched shortly by the Government of India. He also congratulated Dr. Jag Paul Sharma, director Research and his team for the launch of the society SIDAVES for the benefit of mother earth and mankind.
Dr. Jag Paul Sharma, Director Research of SKUAST-Jammu, gave a lecture on entrepreneurship in Basmati and its organic cultivation. He advised the farmers to adopt scientific advisories and regulations to obtain optimum yield and quality in basmati entrepreneurship in Jammu province.
He emphasized for further improvement in basmati rice with increased grain length, high aroma, grain yield and resistance to diseases and insects and providing value addition to basmati rice varieties.
Sharma stressed upon the use organic basmati seed for organic production of basmati rice, along with the use of bio-fertilizers and bio control agents. He advised for the development of farmer producers organizations (FPOs) of basmati growers in Jammu province.
Dr. Ritesh Sharma, Principal Scientist (BEDF) interacted with the basmati growers of Jammu district and gave a lecture on strengths and challenges in export of Basmati rice and quality production techniques.
He enlisted Ranbir Basmati and Basmati 370 of Jammu among the top 30 varieties of basmati rice and told that Pusa Basmati 1121 contains the longest grain length and constitutes 80 percent of the total basmati export.
He discussed in detail about the problems, solutions, weaknesses and strengths of basmati growers of Jammu district and told that the pesticide residual effect is very less in Jammu Basmati as compared to other regions.
Ravi Aggarwal, Chief Manager, Northern Region, Indian Potash Limited (IPL) appreciated the efforts of scientists of SKUAST-J in improvement of production technologies of basmati rice in Jammu province and requested the farmers for optimum use of fertilizers in their fields. IPL organized a quiz competition among the participating basmati rice growers wherein five winning farmers were facilitated with 50 kg bag of potash to each. Dr. S.K. Singh, Scientist of Organic Farming Research Center- Chatha, elaborated eco-friendly diseases and insect pest management of Basmati.
Dr. R.K. Salgotra, Coordinator of School of Biotechnology presented welcome address, while, a formal vote of thanks was presented by Dr. R. K. Arora, Associate Director Extension and Incharge of all KVKs of SKUAST-Jammu.