Mr. N. N. Vohra, Governor, and Mr. Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister, have emphasized the high importance of utilizing the latest techniques for Digital Soil Mapping to determine the best land use and cropping patterns for enhancing agri-productivity on sustained basis. They observed that this programme needs to be completed on a time bound basis.
The Governor and the Chief Minister were addressing the 24th University Council meeting of the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST), Kashmir, at Raj Bhavan, today.
The Governor, who is Chancellor of the University, referred to the importance of establishing benchmark data for improving future planning to enhance productivity of areas under horticulture, agriculture and its allied sectors. He observed that this was crucial for evolving appropriate strategies to plan the future growth of these sectors, utilizing remote sensing and other technologies for this purpose.
The Governor also called for raising certified nurseries in the State to provide quality planting material to the fruit and vegetable growers. Referring to the production of quality seeds of various crops and vegetables, he said that efforts need to be intensified for increasing production of seeds to meet the requirements of farmers from within the State, as far as possible. He observed that while doing so a strict monitoring mechanism must be put in place so that the quality of the seeds is of the highest possible standard.
The Governor said that to encourage innovation in agriculture and its allied sectors, both the Farm Universities of the State should consider instituting Innovation Awards.
The Governor also called for development of pastures and, besides, establishing Feed and Fodder Banks, particularly in Ladakh and in the other remote areas, to meet fodder requirements of livestock during winter months.
The Chief Minister, who is Pro-Chancellor of the University, stressed that the best possible use must be made of all the available resources to maximize returns to the farmers.
The Chief Minister also asked for encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation in agriculture and its allied sectors to boost their growth.
Ghulam Hassan Mir, Minister for Agriculture, emphasized the need for utilizing the latest technology for drawing up crop-wise maps to put in place the required strategies to enhance production of agriculture and its allied sectors. He called for an intensive focus on agriculture and its allied sectors for securing their rapid growth.
Raman Bhalla, Minister for Horticulture, spoke about the new initiatives being taken for making available the best planting material of various fruit trees to the farmers.
Nazir Ahmad Khan, Minister of State for Animal and Sheep Husbandry, put forth several suggestions for the rapid growth of these sectors.
Tej Partap, Vice Chancellor, SKUAST, Kashmir, made a comprehensive power point presentation, dwelling on the achievements of the University in the past six months, since the last Council meeting, and the major initiatives which are in the pipeline. He gave the to-date status in regard to the setting up of new Krishi Vigyan Kendras in the Kashmir and Ladakh regions, status of production of new and hybrid seed varieties, planting material and infrastructure development of the University.
The meeting took stock of various research projects and other initiatives taken after the last meeting of the SKUAST, besides discussing other agenda items which included a review of the follow-up action in respect of various decisions taken in the last meeting.
The meeting was attended by Dr. A. R. Trag, Vice Chancellor, Islamic University of Science and Technology, Awantipore; Prof. D. K. Arora, Vice Chancellor, SKUAST, Jammu; Mr. B. R. Sharma, Principal Secretary, Planning and Development; Mr. B. B. Vyas, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister and Principal Secretary, Finance; Dr. A. H. Samoon, Commissioner/Secretary, Agriculture Production; Mr. Navin K. Choudhary, Principal Secretary to the Governor; and Prof. Farooq Ahmad Zaki, Registrar, SKUAST, Kashmir.