Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Thursday inaugurated the Kisan Mela organised by SKUAST Jammu.
Addressing the gathering of farmers and agriculturists from around the country at the Baba Jitto auditorium of the University, the Lt Governor observed that the five-day assembly of farmers, industry, entrepreneurs, experts will help in developing linkages between various stakeholders to benefit the farming community.
Underscoring that Agriculture and farmers remain the top priority of the government, the Lt Governor said, in last two years, an enabling environment has been created for transforming J&K’s Agri & Allied Sectors in order to increase farmer income, ensure food security and accelerate UT’s economic growth.
Kisan Mela will showcase and deliberate upon the theme of diversification in agriculture which is not only important for assured income to our farming community but also in making agriculture systems more sustainable in the future, said the Lt Governor.
Appreciating the Apex Committee for formulating a future strategy for small and medium-sized farms to ensure access to more profitable markets with reduced cost of farm inputs, the Lt Governor said the holistic development is aimed at IT interventions, infusion of capital, value addition, processing, branding & marketing of agricultural produce supported by agri-business innovations to create employment.
Hon’ble Prime Minister has assured all possible cooperation and support from the Central Government in implementing the recommendations and projects proposed by the Apex Committee, the Lt Governor further added.
On the occasion, the Lt Governor initiated the functioning of the Krishi Vigyan Kendras of Ramban and Kishtwar districts, virtually.
With the operationalization of Krishi Vigyan Kendras at Ramban and Kishtwar today, all districts of Jammu Division now have functional KVKs dedicated towards conducting quality research and ensuring extension services, the Lt Governor observed.
The Lt Governor further said that our integrated approach with the focus on efficient use of bio-resources for food, feed and industry will be able to tackle challenges arising out of globalization and climate change.
We are determined to transform subsistence agriculture into sustainable commercial agriculture economy with emphasis on ecosystem services and restoration & sustainable utilization of biodiversity, he added.
Earlier, the Lt Governor inaugurated the rural sports by starting tug of war competition. He also inspected the stalls installed by SKUAST-Jammu, Government departments, FPOs, startups and local Agripreneurs for the benefit of farmers.
Sh Atal Dulloo, Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture Production Department threw light on the ways and strategy for holistic development of Agriculture and allied sector and transforming the lives of farmers with skill development and other dedicated initiatives.
In his welcome address, Prof. J.P. Sharma, Vice-Chancellor, SKUAST-Jammu said that J&K is making strides in every field and features in national and international headlines for its unprecedented achievements.
Progressive farmers, startups, and best community pond developers were also awarded during the programme.
Dr. Sumati Sharma, Former Additional Director, DRDO, New Delhi; Sh. Baldev Billawaria, Deputy Mayor, JMC; Dr. Rajbir Singh, Director ICAR-ATARI; Ms Avny Lavasa, DC Jammu; Major Manmohan Singh Virk; DDC members, HoDs, Faculty members, farmers from across the country and students were present on the occasion.