Centre, UT admin taking steps to connect farming sector with global market chain: J&K LG

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Srinagar, Apr 3 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday said the central government as well as the Union Territory administration is taking several novel initiatives to connect the farming sector with global market chain.

Sinha made these remarks during his visit to Baramulla where he inaugurated a 'mega farmers and growers mela' organised by the Agriculture Production and Farmers' Welfare Department as a part of the ongoing 'Azaadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav' celebrations.

He said right marketing, packaging, and branding of horticulture produce at different forums is being done for getting appropriate dividends for farmers and other stakeholders associated with the sector.

The Lt Governor also launched a massive high density plantation drive which is aimed to introduce high-yielding horticultural varieties for getting enhanced outputs in horticulture production.

He said the high density plantation along with value addition of agricultural and horticultural produce is the most viable option for getting better outcomes.

“Several novel initiatives are being taken by the present dispensation at the central as well as the regional level for connecting the farming sector with the global market chain,” Sinha said.

The Lt Governor said the focus is on aggressive marketing, branding, packaging, distribution, and promotion of the local horticulture produce in the international circuit.

GI Tagging and organic certification has been done to promote the products of Jammu and Kashmir at the global market, he added.

Expressing satisfaction over an overwhelming participation of farmers in the programme, the Lt Governor said farmers of Jammu and Kashmir are progressive and adaptive to new farming techniques.

He emphasised on adopting integrated farming which has the potential to explore more agro-based livelihood opportunities.

“The income of farmers will triple even quadruple with the adoption of all modern, latest and scientific know-how's based on changing circumstances in agricultural fields,' he said.

The horticulture sector is the backbone of our economy and about 30 lakh population is associated with it directly or indirectly for their livelihoods, he said, adding that Rs 2,008 crore in the recently passed UT budget was earmarked for the agriculture sector which is the highest ever allocation till date.

Enlisting various farm centric initiatives that were taken by the government, the Lt Governor said the government is sensitive towards issues of the farmers.

Several laws have been relaxed wherein farmers can now avail benefits from different government sponsored welfare schemes and programmes which were previously not available owing to restrictive enactments, he said.

He also said testing labs based on international standards shall be established for welfare of the farming community, adding that strict legal action shall be taken against all those stakeholders/dealers involved in the sale of spurious pesticides and fertilisers. The Lt Governor also emphasised on promoting organic products, agro-entrepreneurship and stressed that the farmers should brand their products and adopt cooperative based market linking so that the agriculture sector is made remunerative. Meanwhile, Sinha distributed felicitation awards and farming machinery among the progressive farmers of the district who have excelled in several agro based sectors using modern farming techniques.

He also released the 'Krishi Calendar' at the event which highlighted the achievements recorded by the Agriculture Department. PTI SSB RHL