The farmer centric reforms launched by Jammu and Kashmir government in past two years have empowered the farmer community socially and economically by increasing their income manifold making them AatmaNirbhar.
J&K is now among the top five states and UTs in terms of farm income with a monthly income of Rs 18,918 per farmer.
The UT government is constantly striving to provide farmers with direct access to modern technologies and credit facility besides encouraging natural farming to improve profitability and sustainability in agriculture and allied sectors.
J&K Agriculture department has launched aggressive marketing and branding of local agri-products, mechanization in Agriculture and Horticulture sector. In this regard, High Density Plantation, diversification, better quality seeds, capacity buildings, GI tagging, expansion of banking facilities, micro-irrigation has achieved rich dividends for farmers and have brought a structural change in agriculture and horticulture sector.
More than a million beneficiaries from J&K received direct financial support of Rs. 1983.29 crore during past three years under PM Kisan scheme. Besides, 12 lakh farmers have been issued Kisan Credit Cards (KCC), out of this, 9.46 lakh KCC are live/operative in the UT.
The J&K government is providing 50 per cent capital support up to Rs. 22.15 lakh per hectare under high density plantation scheme. A common farmer used to find it difficult to arrange another 50 per cent capital due to the high interest rate. The inclusion of HDPS under Agriculture Infrastructure Fund Scheme has made available the credit on interest subvention of 3 per cent per annum for 7 years.
The credit guarantee coverage made available under credit guarantee fund trust offers loan up to Rs. 2 crore for micro and small enterprises schemes. Besides, promotion of ‘Vocal for Local’ has opened up a plethora of opportunities for everyone associated with the Agriculture & allied sectors to grow and prosper.
The government is bringing National and International players on board for enhancing the knowledge expertise and providing global market linkages to J&K’s farming community, an official said.
Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, after inaugurating the five day long ‘Kisan Mela’ at SKUAST, Jammu, asked the Agriculture Universities of J&K to work on mission mode to connect more farmers with organic farming and horticulture and make them acquainted with the latest scientific knowhow.
Bridging rural gap is among the top priorities of UT administration. In this regard, a strong framework is being developed to increase employment and connect rural youth with the agriculture and horticulture industry. The administration will extend all possible support to Youth involved in agricultural start-ups, LG asserted.
Notably, J&K government is handholding 500 enterprising farmers with knowledge based intervention every year to harness the potential of organic produce.
The officers of agriculture department are continuously focusing on strengthening economic relationship between farm and market to benefit the farmers and rural population. The farmers are informed and motivated about the benefits of innovation and technologies for welfare of agrarian society. The steps taken by the government will integrate rural areas into modern economic units and increased business opportunities in agro and rural industry can transform the rural economy.
Horticulture has now become backbone of economy of Jammu and Kashmir. From state-of-the-art machinery to new plants, water supply resources for farming, training, expansion of the area of high density plantation, many innovative measures have been taken in the past one year and many more are in the pipeline for future deliverables aiming at growth of the farming sector.
With special emphasis on promoting best practices in the horticulture sector, significant improvement has been registered in farm productivity and production quality due to exchange of knowledge and ideas.
Due to excellent synergy between farmers and concerned departments, J&K has become one of the top 5 performers in the country in the ‘One District One Product’ campaign.
Central government through its 64 schemes in the field of horticulture is providing subsidies up to 50 to 100 per cent to the farmers under different components.
With an aim to promote farm mechanization for easy and better produce, 18880 beneficiaries were provided tractors, tillers, MPS, Irrigation pumps and related agricultural tools in J&K.
Similarly, about 3666 small and mega awareness programmes were organized in J&K to create awareness about various schemes for development of Horticulture. A first buyer-seller meet was organized successfully at Srinagar to promote marketing of fruits at national and international level.
Two Centres of Excellence with a total project cost of Rs.1708.85 lakh have been sanctioned at Zawoora Srinagar and Udhaywala Jammu by GoI under MIDH scheme in the Indo-Dutch work plan. These centres will serve as demonstration and training institutes as well as source of planting material for farmers. Besides, 12000 Kanal of land has been brought under new fruit plantation.