J&K needs to prohibit conversion of agriculture land: Governor

Highlighting the agricultural scenario of the State, Governor observed that nearly two-third of the population of this State is directly or indirectly dependent for its livelihood on agriculture and its allied sectors.

GKNN
Jammu, Publish Date: May 19 2018 11:58PM | Updated Date: May 19 2018 11:58PM
J&K needs to prohibit conversion of agriculture land: GovernorGK Photo

Governor NN Vohra on Saturday said that Jammu and Kashmir has a challenge of neutralising the annual food grain shortfall of about 5 lakh to 6 lakh metric and prohibit conversion of productive arable lands for varied non-agricultural purposes. 

The governor was speaking at the 6th Convocation of the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Jammu (SKUAST-J) was held  at Baba Jitto Auditorium of the university on Saturday at which Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief guest. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also spoke on the occasion.

According to an official spokesperson, the governor observed that while the challenge before the country is to continuously increase its food production for feeding a population of 1.3 billion, which is still growing at a steady pace, “in J&K we have to meet the challenge of neutralizing the annual foodgrains shortfall of about 5 lakh to 6 lakh metric ton and work towards becoming a food-grain exporting state”. He advised that for increasing productivity, state needs to achieve high-efficiency levels in the utilization of the land and water resources; altogether prohibiting conversion of productive arable lands for varied non-agricultural purposes and taking time-bound steps to check the degradation of the land and water resources.

Highlighting the agricultural scenario of the State, Governor observed that nearly two-third of the population of this State is directly or indirectly dependent for its livelihood on agriculture and its allied sectors. However, the average size of our farm holdings is only .66 ha, which is about 1/3rd the national average size. He added that in Jammu region, which this University seeks to serve, 65% of the area is rain-fed, 85% of the farmers are in the small and marginal category and irrigation has been stagnant for the past many years. Besides, the land resources are facing decline.

Governor advised that while tackling our internal challenges, we also need to devote urgent attention for dealing with the speedily advancing phenomenon of global warming and climate change which is already beginning to affect the  food, fruit, vegetable and animal production. He said that time has come for Agriculture Universities in all the hill States to collaborate and undertake joint research efforts in identified areas for timely developing new seeds and plants which will be compatible with the rapidly changing climatic patterns. He further added that at the national level, it would be immensely beneficial if the Union Ministry of Agriculture, ICAR and other related scientific institutions, considered taking very early initiatives to review the content and revamp the pace of the existing pan-India agriculture research and extension methodologies. He observed that the curricula of agriculture education in the Farm Universities cannot any longer remain static and Vice Chancellors and their Faculties need to evolve dynamic approaches for matching the learning and teaching patterns with the challenges which face the agriculture production arena.

Governor noted that J&K imports milk, meat, and poultry products which cost over Rs 2000 crore per annum. He said that it would enormously boost the economy of J&K if the State Agriculture Department, in close concert with State Farm Universities, launches well-planned initiatives to upgrade and modernize the entire livestock sector in the State. He observed that we should aim at reducing imports to nil and emerge as a net exporting State in the agriculture and livestock sectors.

Appreciating the achievements of the University, Governor observed that the University had come a long way over the years and there has been progress on several fronts.  He said that this was the first Convocation which was being held in the university, in the Baba Jitto Auditorium, which was completed a few months ago. He added that there were a total of 657 students in 2008 and today they have about double this number of whom, significantly, nearly one-third are Post-Graduate and Ph.D. scholars. Expressing satisfaction, he noted that the University has begun to assume the contours of an institution of higher education and hoped that the Vice Chancellor would take all possible steps to ensure its further growth.

Governor expressed his gratitude to the prime minister for having graciously accepted his request and spared time to address the 6th Convocation of the University.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered the Convocation Address. During the Convocation, Prime Minister presented 6 Gold Medals; Chancellor awarded 55 PhD degrees in Agriculture, Basic Sciences and Veterinary Sciences & Animal Husbandry,  85 Master’s degrees in Agriculture, Biotechnology and Agri Business Management, 77 Master’s degrees in Veterinary Science, 12 Master’s degrees in Basic Sciences, 124 Bachelor degrees in Agriculture and Biotechnology, 91 Bachelor degrees in Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences, Ms. Mehbooba Mufti, Pro Chancellor, presented 100  Certificates of Merit.

x
This site uses cookies to deliver our services and to show you relevant news and ads. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Service.That's Fine