Srinagar, Aug 28: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta inaugurated a State of the Art “Srinagar Millet Hub”, an initiative of District Administration Srinagar in the premises of DC Office Srinagar here on Monday.
The Millet Hub has been constructed by R&B Department at the cost of Rs 25.0 lakhs and has been handed over to Women Self Help Group Members of NRLM, Srinagar for enhancing the livelihood opportunities. Pertinent to mention that Srinagar District becomes first in India to establish a Millet Hub in the premises of DC Office to commemorate the International Year of Millets 2023(IYM-2023).
Speaking at the occasion, the Chief Secretary appreciated the initiative of the District Administration Srinagar and said that the 2023 has been announced as International Year of Millets(IYM2023) and setting up of “Millet Hub” is an opportunity to raise awareness of, and direct policy attention to the nutritional and health benefits of millets and their suitability for cultivation under adverse and changing climatic conditions. Besides handing over the operations of Millet Hub to Self Help Groups will create employment opportunities and lead to women entrepreneurship and empowerment at the local level.
On the occasion, the Chief Secretary also interacted with the members of SHG and stressed on how such initiatives also spur entrepreneurship among the women folk.
The Deputy Commissioner Srinagar also spoke on the occasion and said that the initiative aims to empower women Self-Help Groups by providing Employment opportunities. He further said that the Millet Hub would provide a sustainable source of income for the members of the Self Help Group.
Meanwhile, the Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta also launched maiden Hydroponic System of Soil-less Cultivation for Urban areas, an initiative of District Administration Srinagar in an impressive function held here at Meeting Hall of the DC Office Complex.
After e-launching the Hydroponic System, the Chief Secretary inspected the Residential Hydroponic Units in the premises of DC Office Srinagar and took first hand appraisal about the functioning and operation of Soil-less Cultivation measures.
On the occasion, the Chief Secretary observed that hydroponics techniques will offer a promising avenue for transforming urban Agriculture in Srinagar particularly in highly dense populated areas in Shahr-e-Khaas.
The Chief Secretary said through creative and innovative approaches, the hydroponic system will also promote self-reliance, food security and environmental sustainability.
During the programme, the Chief Secretary also handed over sanction letters regarding Nutrient Film Technique Cascades to 70 beneficiary farmers of Srinagar District for establishment of Hydroponic Units. He exhorted upon the District officials of Agriculture Production and Farmers Welfare Department to do proper handholding to achieve the intended objectives.
Highlighting the concept of hydroponics soilless culture, the Deputy Commissioner on the occasion said that the concept of hydroponics has been initiated by the District Administration Srinagar to boost the rural economy through farming/agriculture related activities particularly in the areas having very less land by Residential Hydroponic Models for year-round soil less cultivation of Vegetables in Urban areas.
It is pertinent to mention that the Hydroponic is a method of growing plants without soil, where nutrient-rich water is used to deliver essential nutrients directly to the plant roots. It is often called soilless farming. Its impact includes efficient water usage, faster growth rates, and reduced need for pesticides. In Srinagar downtown, where land availability might be limited, hydroponics can offer a solution by allowing plants to be cultivated in a controlled environment, vertically or indoors. Hydroponics could be necessary in Srinagar Urban areas to address land constraints, promote local food production, and improve food security.
It can also reduce the reliance on traditional agriculture, which might be challenging in urban areas. For landless citizens, hydroponics offers a chance to engage in Agriculture activities without needing a large volume of land. Vertical farming using hydroponics can maximize space utilization and increase crop yield per unit area. Srinagar, with its limited land availability and challenging climatic conditions, faces significant barriers to traditional agriculture.
Notably Srinagar becomes first District in Jammu and Kashmir to initiate Hydroponic farming with special focus on urban BPL families.