The government today approved an action plan worth Rs.30.43 crore to give a major boost to agricultural activities in Kashmir division during 2022-23.

The sanction was accorded during a meeting chaired by Principal Secretary, Agriculture Production and Farmers Welfare, Navin Kumar Choudhary.

Navin Choudhary exhorted upon the officers to explore and add one additional potential crop in the entire Kashmir division during this fiscal. He assured that oil seeds and fodder, in addition to vegetables, will be given complete support and promotion to further enhance income of farmers. He expressed satisfaction over coverage of almost 70 per cent of fields under mustard cultivation after paddy harvest, which was earlier used to be merely 6 to 7 per cent.

Principal Secretary directed for issuing Soil Health Cards to all farmers by 31st May, 2022 asking the officers to work in a mission mode in this regard.

It was informed that an amount of Rs. 2.00 crore has been kept in this year’s Capex budget to further enhance Saffron cultivation in the Valley. Similarly, Rs. 3.00 crore have been kept for community bore wells to address water shortage in kandi areas of Kashmir Valley.

Besides, an amount of Rs.6.00 crore has been kept in the action plan for providing support for purchase of tractors, tillers, land levellers, combine harvesters and related tools to promote farm mechanisation. Also, subsidy will be given for purchase of 200 tractors by the farmers of the Valley during the current year.

The meeting was further apprised that in view of quality certified seeds and replacement of seeds being the top most priority, an amount of Rs.12.00 crore will be spent on realising full potential of all agricultural farms of the department for production of high quality seeds during this fiscal. The seeds will be provided to farmers on subsidized rates for not only cereal crops but also for vegetables, exotic vegetables, spices like Kashmiri Mirchi, haldi, medicinal plants, potato and oil seeds.

To promote additional agricultural activity and entrepreneurship, an amount of Rs. 2.00 crore will be expended on mushroom cultivation as well as apiculture.

Principal Secretary asked for taking effective measures towards GI tagging of more premium products during the current year. He also emphasized effective communication with the farmers by way of promotional and information dissemination activities, for which a substantial amount has been kept in the Capex budget this year.

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