JAMMU-  Ahead of the mammoth exercise of the budget preparation for the UT, the Additional Chief Secretary, Finance, Atal Dulloo Tuesday held deliberations with the farmers to take their inputs for making agriculture sector more productive and profitable.

The meeting was steered by Principal Secretary, Agriculture Production & Farmers Welfare Department, Navin Kumar Choudhary and facilitated by the Advisory Board for Welfare & Development of Kisans.

The meeting was attended by Vice Chancellors of Agriculture Universities of J&K, DG Budget, all Departmental heads of Agriculture sector besides the members of the Kisan Board.

All Kashmir based officers and Kisan board members participated in the meeting through video conferencing.

Atal Dulloo lauded the farmers for proposing valuable suggestions. He asked them that the best solutions for problems comes from those facing them. He assured them that the purpose of this unique meeting would be fulfilled with all urgency.

The ACS impressed on the farmers that their focus should not only be production and productivity only but a whole course of processing, packaging, marketing, collectivism with the active use of modern technology. He asked them that technology has the power of turning fortunes for them. He said that the archaic methods of farming and processes needs replacement by automation and technological interventions.

Dulloo also asked them that they should propose at least 3-4 key interventions in each sector for its transformation. He asserted that the government would be more than willing to apply them for the larger good of the farming community.

The ACS also declared that there are platforms like e-NAM, Agro Mandis, online revenue record and other avenues available to growers from which they can be tremendously benefitted. He said that the scientific data available with us regarding our land and crops if synchronized with artificial intelligence based technology can provide solutions and inputs for maximizing the income of farmers.

The Principal Secretary AP&FW informed the meeting about the different welfare schemes and initiatives launched by the department for welfare of farmers. He asked the farmers to come forth to take optimum benefit from those schemes. He encouraged them to propose solutions so that they can be part of government policy. He told them that this meeting was held for them only for the purpose of making their issues and inputs part of future budget.

Navin also asked the farmers to come forward and be entrepreneurs also. He urged them not to squeeze their ideas to farms only but establish enterprises meant for the increase of productivity and value addition of their produce. He maintained that department is trying to give tailor made solutions to the farmers and they in turn needs to exploit the opportunities offered to them. He enumerated several schemes enrolled by the department from last few years.

The Vice Chancellors of the Agriculture Universities gave their inputs about making this sector more viable for future generation of growers. They also mentioned the interventions regarding development of high yielding seed varieties, irrigation, training and upgradation of agricultural implements.

Both the VCs made out that their institutions have come up to the occasion by formulating necessary short duration courses for capacity building of farmers. They also revealed that the universities are also developing AI based techniques to assist farmers in adopting better ways and means of farming. They made out that in future farmers would be provided replies for their specific queries and even the expert advice over their hand sets.

The representatives of farmers also put forth their suggestions regarding the growth of agriculture sector. Farmers in agriculture, horticulture, sericulture, animal husbandry, floriculture, fishing were invited from both the divisions for giving inputs regarding their respective branches.

All of the suggestions were taken note of by the concerned head of the department for aligning their future polices and courses of action as per them.


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