PM ensured there will be no shortage of funds for J&K farmers: LG Sinha

Jammu :  Stating that the Government is committed to serve the present and future needs of farmers in an integrated manner, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Tuesday said that the Prime Minister has ensured that there would be no shortage of funds for farmers of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Our endeavour is also to convert farms and orchards potential into farmer’s power and transform all the districts of both Jammu and Kashmir divisions into a hub of export with the cultivation of niche crops and value addition of special products,” Sinha said while speaking at an event after inaugurating Mega Fruit Plant Nursery at Chakroi, Ranbir Singh Pura here.

Sinha said, “it is a massive achievement that in one year a mega fruit plant nursery has been established in an area where cross border shelling was a normal thing in fields.”

The Lt Governor also made valuable suggestions to improve productivity and tackling challenges as well as opportunities of the agriculture & allied sectors.

Congratulating the farmers and fruit growers, Sinha said that the Nursery will provide best technologies as well as true-to-type quality planting material that will reshape the Horticulture Sector in the area.

“This decade in the agriculture and horticulture sector belongs to J&K UT. The policies through holistic development plan have laid the foundations for a sea change in J&K’s economic growth”, said the Lt Governor.

He also shared the vision of the government to bring a significant change in the lives of farmers of J&K and accelerate the growth of J&K’s economy.

“Our effort is to make sub-tropical fruit cultivation a multi-faceted business by increasing efficiency of orchards with the help of various interventions like setting up new nurseries and new plant material testing labs,” observed the Lt Governor.

In order to meet the future challenges and to ensure a new wave of growth momentum, 29 projects approved by Apex Committee for Holistic Development of Agriculture & Allied sectors are being implemented. The plan worth Rs 5013 crores will bring significant change in the lives of around 13 lakh farming families of J&K including 2.62 lakh small and marginal farming families, the Lt Governor noted.

No other region in the country has made such a revolutionary intervention in the Agriculture and allied sector. All arrangements, from seed to market have been made through the implementation framework of the plan, he added.

A strong agricultural marketing ecosystem will increase the farm income and reduce the value loss. We are working on covering the entire value chain including inputs, harvesting, processing, packing, storage, besides meeting the need of quality planting material etc. and developing infrastructure & other facilities while taking climatic conditions into consideration, the Lt Governor said.

“We have also made provisions to arrange and grow 80% of fodder requirements locally within J&K”, he added.

Speaking on the services extended by the government, the Lt Governor said that around 31 lakh land passbooks have been generated and more than 400 public services have been made fully online with a provision of Public Services Guarantee Act.

On the issue of proper functioning of the Ranbir Canal, the Lt Governor said that a permanent solution via a policy for uninterrupted and proper functioning of the Ranbir Canal will be ensured. He also clarified that there is no such rule for compulsory buying of cattle from outside the region to avail the subsidy. ‘And if there is any, I declare it Null & Void’, he added.

Bharat Bhushan, Chairman DDC Jammu, extended gratitude to the Central Government under PM Narendra Modi for ensuring peace at Border areas which has led to development works like the Mega Fruit plant nursery at Chakroi.

Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture Production Department, Atal Dulloo, congratulated the Horticulture department for completing the project of Mega Fruit Plant Nursery within a stipulated time frame.

This mega fruit plant nursery established with state-of-the-art equipment like Automatic weather monitoring system, will facilitate easy supply of quality fruit saplings.

Prof. JP Sharma, VC SKUAST Jammu, stressed the need to convert low density orchards into high density orchards and increase farmer’s income through horticulture.

The Mega Fruit Plant Nursery houses 50 different Blocks for growing mother plants of different fruits including Citrus fruits. Spanning over more than 800 Kanal area the Mega Fruit plant nursery will grow and provide saplings of Guava, mango, litchi, other citrus fruits and also of the Dragon fruit.

It is the biggest fruit nursery in North India. In the coming time, 10 lakh saplings of fruit plants will be distributed to farmers. Micro irrigation system was also established in the mega fruit nursery for irrigation in addition to other advanced facilities and modern equipment. Tissue culture lab and other labs will also be established in the coming time, it was informed.

Several publications including Mega Fruit Plant Nursery Chakroi Magazine, Cultivation of Litchi and Strawberry and Strategic management of Stone Fruit were also released on the occasion.

The Lt Governor also planted a sapling in the premises of the nursery to mark the occasion.