Principal Secretary, Agriculture Production Department, Navin Kumar Choudhary Thursday visited SKUAST-Jammu and reviewed various activities being carried out in the university.
He urged the scientists to evolve innovations in the farming sector to help the farmers in increasing their income and to meet the goals of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
The Principal Secretary advised authorities of the University to adopt villages for the dissemination of the latest technologies and handholding of farmers in the horizontal expansion of emerging technologies along with department for early results.
He suggested that KVKs should devise a rigorous calendar of activities for round the year effective transfer of technological interventions from lab to land.
Mentioning the Jeevika Programme implemented in Udhampur, Navin Choudhary suggested the University provide technical support under the programme including management of diseases and packaging etc.
He said that Jammu and Kashmir has a vast potential for growth in various high yielding crops and it is high time for the scientists to guide the farmers appropriately to enhance their production and income by using the latest techniques and high yielding varieties of seeds.
Principal Secretary said that there should be an effective collaboration between Agriculture University and Agriculture Production Department for effective implementation of research and extension activities in the farmers’ field. He emphasised that KVKs should prepare at least 100 progressive farmers in a year and provide technical backstopping to them. He suggested that the University should conduct research on low-cost packaging material and develop mathematical models of government policies and relate them with their research priorities.
Speaking about course curriculum of farm University, Principal Secretary suggested revamping the courses to suit the market needs and creation of agri-entrepreneurs such as dairy, value addition, processing, cattle feed hydroponics fodder etc in J&K. He further suggested making aware all stakeholders about the Government policies implemented in the field of poultry, dairy, fodder under Atam Nirbhar Bharat for greater benefits to rural youth and entrepreneurs.
Navin Choudhary called for a balance between basic research and practical research for implementation on farmers fields. He also suggested for exchange of faculties among different Universities to have exposure on latest technologies in Agriculture. He further suggested focusing on the production of industry-specific raw materials and products in which the UT is a net importer. He urged for early commencement of Centre of Excellence in Jammu.
Principal Secretary suggested scientists develop modules on dairying, fisheries, mushroom cultivation, bee-keeping, post-harvest management of fruits, vegetables and cereals and train youth on these aspects. He suggested that a core team consisting of scientists of SKUAT-J and personnel of the Department of Agriculture, Jammu should be constituted for seed production of improved and hybrid varieties of cereals at farmers’ field.
Earlier, Prof. J.P Sharma, Vice Chancellor, SKUAST-Jammu
suggested entrepreneurship development through introduction of various avenues prevailing in different fields of Agriculture including mushroom, beekeeping, high density planting, farm machinery, medicinal and aromatic plants etc. He stressed upon the adoption of Integrated Farming System, protected cultivation, on-site organic production and community level value addition through collaborative efforts of KVKs and line departments. Vice-Chancellor further discussed the plan of doubling the farmers’ income in J&K and raised certain issues with respect to its effective implementation.
Prof. Sharma also discussed the plan for the establishment of an innovation centre in the University to convert innovative ideas into viable enterprises. He also discussed the plan for boosting fisheries production and revamping of University ponds to meet out the demand for seed of different fish species. Prof J.P. Sharma briefed that SKUAST-Jammu has been given a responsibility to develop modules of entrepreneurship development in agriculture and allied enterprises so that the same can be incorporated in the course curriculum of schools and colleges of the Union Territory for skill development of youth.
Director Horticulture, Ram Savak; Director Animal Husbandry Jammu, Vivek Sharma; Director Research SKUAST-J, Dr. R.K. Gupta; Dean Faculty of Agriculture SKUAST-J, Dr. D.P. Abrol and Registrar, SKUAST-J, Rajesh Talwar were present on the occasion.