North Kashmir’s Baramulla district has secured third rank in Agriculture and Water Resources sector in the latest Delta Ranking released by NITI Aayog under “Champions of Change Segment”.  

The Baramulla district has got an overall delta rank of 20 among all the 109 Aspirational districts of India while in Agriculture and Water Resources thematic area the border district has got 3rd rank, reads the report.

Twin districts of Baramulla and Kupwara are the only districts figuring on the list of NITI Aayog’s ambitious Transformation of Aspirational Districts Programme (TADP).

Baramulla has shown a remarkable increase from 16.3 points (in July) to 19.3 points (in August). Similarly, the district has shown an overall increase in Composite Score from 54.2 to 54.9 since July, this year. 

As per the performance report on different indicators that fetched the district 3rd Rank in Agriculture and Water Resources segment, Baramulla has completed distribution of 16,719 soil health cards against an annual target of 30,688.

Similarly, the indicator that specifies the percentage of area under micro-irrigation, the district has achieved 0.33 percent of progress against an annual target of 0.44 percent. 

According to NITI Aayog, if any aspirational district ranks number one in any of the sector-wise ranking, it will be rewarded with Rs 3 crore which the district is supposed to spend on different development activities.

It may be noted that 11 Central Ministries are working in tandem with NITI Aayog in the Aspirational Districts Programme that is personally monitored by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

Talking to Rising Kashmir, Chief Agriculture Officer Baramulla Yadvinder Singh highlighted the main activities that helped them to achieve the rank.

“We have increased the area under micro-irrigation through bore wells and drip irrigation. At the same time the area under high value crops, like vegetables, mushroom, and apiculture has seen a considerable increase” he said.

Giving figures about the certified seed distribution of high value crops, Yadvinder said they have done a record Certified Seed distribution of 3500 Quintals. “We distributed among farmers 200 quintals of paddy, 850 quintals of maize, 360 quintals of potato, 100 quintals of peas. We have now started distributing oilseeds,” he said.

He said they have reached the target of 20000 soil health cards that stand distributed as on today, which is highest across the UT of J&K. “Baramulla has registered 17660 farmers under PMKMY  (Pradhan Mantri Kissan Mandhan Yojana) which is also the highest among all the districts of J&K,” he said.

The Chief Agriculture Officer said the only fruit Mandi at Sopore has been linked to the electric market that will enable farmers to connect with any Mandi/marketplace and determine the rates.

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