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LG calls for replicating country's successful farming model in J&K

JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Tuesday called for replicating the success stories of innovative and progressive farmers from across the country in the union territory through transmission of ideas and knowledge sharing.

The Lt Governor termed the innovative farmers as key change-makers in agricultural development and a motivating force for the whole farming community.

He urged them to disseminate their technical know-how for further emulation by farmers to multiply their income.

Sinha said the success stories of innovative and progressive farmers from across the country should be replicated in J&K through transmission of ideas and knowledge sharing for transforming agriculture and allied sectors as well as for realising the goal of doubling farmers'' income.

He was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of a two-day-long innovative farmers' conference on ‘farmers-led innovations for enhancing farm Income' at SKUAST Jammu, organized to harness first-hand experiences of innovative farmers.

On the occasion, the Lt Governor felicitated five Padma Shri awardee farmers -- Bharat Bhushan Tyagi, Kanwal Singh Chouhan, Sultan Singh, Ram Sharan Verma and Chander Shekhar Singh, and other innovative farmers including Major Manmohan Singh Virka, Gurpreet Singh Shergill, Krishan Yadav, Pooja Sharma, Hariman Sharma and Yogendra Kaushik, an official spokesman said.

More than 100 prominent progressive farmers from J-K, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are participating in the conference, the spokesman said.

Sinha underscored the significance of promoting best practices, sharing of innovative ideas and experiences among farmers.

He said the conference would provide an exclusive platform to farmers to exchange ideas and gain new knowledge in farming.

"Impetus should be given to information sharing, research and extension programmes by universities for meeting the expectations of farmers and preparing them to overcome modern-day challenges like global warming," he said.

The Lt Governor said the seamless transfer of technology from universities to farmers is imperative for introducing the farmers with innovative ways of farming.

For providing a substantial increase in farmers'' income, he called for developing strategies and credible mechanisms for upscaling of farmers-led innovations and further strengthening the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat' and making J-K ‘AatmaNirbhar' in the agriculture sector.

Sinha also suggested a host of measures for achieving faster growth in the agriculture sector along-with providing sustainable income and livelihood to farmers.

The Lt Governor said that there are about 8,000 species of medicinal and aromatic plants available in India but only 10 percent of them are being utilised. He urged the scientific community to make dedicated efforts for exploiting the full potential of unutilised plant species.

He suggested for creating umbrella groups for selling local and small-scale products, besides holding brainstorming sessions on the innovations happening in various categories of start-ups in agriculture such as agro-processing, artificial intelligence, digital agriculture, agricultural mechanisation, waste to wealth, dairy, fisheries and other entrepreneurship programmes.

He also urged the farming community to utilise latest social media sources for updating their knowledge about agriculture and allied sectors.

The Lt Governor stressed on developing new and improved crop varieties which can withstand changing climatic stress conditions, besides adopting need-based, location-specific and field-tested innovations.

He also advocated for sustainable organic farming and cultivation of traditional crops, besides initiating entrepreneurial and vocational courses in the university for creating more startups in agriculture and allied sectors.

He further asked the scientists to take up research projects in latest technological interventions such as application of artificial intelligence in agriculture, climate smart agriculture and vertical farming.

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PTI