Twenty-Nine Projects To Transform Agricultural Economy Of J&K: ACS Dulloo

Asserting that Agriculture and Allied Sectors contribute over 18 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), representing Rs. 37600 crores per year and providing livelihood to more than 13 lakh families, Jammu and Kashmir Additional Chief Secretary (Agriculture Production Department), Atal Dulloo said that the implementation of 29 major projects will transform agricultural economy of Jammu and Kashmir.
Notably, the Administrative Council under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had sanctioned the implementation of the 29 projects with an outlay of Rs 5013 crores over the next five years submitted by the Apex committee of experts headed by Dr Mangala Rai, former Director General, India Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
The apex committee was constituted by the UT Administration to identify the priority areas for interventions through improved policy and capital support and also to mitigate the challenges and to build a technology driven, sustainable and remunerative agro-economy.
“Over past decades, the agriculture and allied sectors in Jammu and Kashmir have been the mainstay of the rural economy however, the UT has been following a mere subsistence type of agriculture which has increasingly been facing the challenges of low productivity, shrinking farmer margins, unsustainability, climate change and lack of competitiveness when compared to produce from within and outside the country,” ACS Dulloo said.
He expressed, “the twenty-nine projects based on the principles of economy, equity and ecology shall transform the agricultural economy of J&K putting it on a new trajectory of growth, almost doubling the output of the sectors, boosting exports and making the sectors sustainable and commercially viable.”
Elaborating the 29 projects to be focussed upon, Dulloo counted, in Agriculture Sector, development of seed and seed multiplication chain in PPP mode, promotion of niche crops, promotion of vegetables/exotic vegetables under open and hi-tech protected cultivation, strengthening agri-marketing system, promotion of medicinal/aromatic plants on commercial basis, promotion of apiculture, technological interventions to strengthen sericulture, promotion of nutri cereals (Millets), farm mechanization and automation, promotion of mushroom cultivation, promotion of oilseeds, formulation of 300 FPOs, adoption and promotion of integrated farming system (IFS)/Integrated Livelihood systems (ILS), promotion of commercial floriculture, development of rain fed areas, alternate agriculture system for sustainability, sensor based smart agriculture, minimizing pesticide use in agriculture, soil and land resource information system and innovative approaches in agriculture extension.

He added that production of designer plants for promotion of HD plants and rejuvenation of orchards, food processing program for development of clusters for specific products in Horticulture Sector, dairy development, reorienting priorities: self-sufficiency in mutton production, roadmap for poultry development, technological interventions for fish seed and trout production, promotion of wool/pelt processing and marketing, development of fodder resources in Livestock Sector and support to human resource development for technological backstop for sustainable and accelerated transformation of agriculture in Education and SKUAST areas.
“The gains shall be equitable, reaching the last person in the pyramid and ecologically sustainable through efficient use of bio-resources for food, feed and industry and this will herald a new phase of farmer prosperity and rural livelihood security in J&K,” Dulloo stated.
He said that the agricultural output which stands at Rs 37600 crores shall increase by over Rs 28142 crores to reach more than Rs 65700 crores per year, with a resultant increment in sectoral growth rate to 11 percent, adding, “the interventions shall create employment opportunities for over 2.8 lakh youth and establish around 19,000 enterprises.”
He said that the committee submitted comprehensive proposals encompassing the full spectrum of activities in all the major domains of Agriculture viz Horticulture, Crop and Livestock Husbandry in the form of twenty-nine projects to strengthen the backbone of Jammu and Kashmir’s rural economy.
“More than 2.5 lakh persons shall be skilled in various agri-enterprises and in the next five years the UT shall have a motivated workforce with agri-entrepreneurial skills in a commercially viable and ecologically sustainable agri-ecosystem,” the ACS Agriculture Production Department said.