Wed, 07 Jun 2023

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], March 31 (ANI): An amount of over Rs 3100 crore has been allocated to Jammu and Kashmir agriculture and allied sectors in order to increase farmer income, ensure food security and to accelerate the Union Territory's economic growth, said an official release on Friday.

The announcement of the amount came days after the Parliament passed the 'The Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation (No 2) Bill, 2023' in the Union Budget.

"To create an enabling environment for transforming JandK agriculture and allied sectors in order to increase farmer income, ensure food security and accelerate UT's economic growth, Rs 3156 crore has been allocated in Budget 2023-24," said an official release from the Department of Information and Public Relation JK.

According to the release, a Holistic Agriculture Development plan (HADP) will be rolled out, with 29 proposed projects at an outlay of Rs 5012 crore over a period of the next five years.

Speaking on the initiative, an official said, "The novel initiative will create additional job opportunities for 2,87,910 people in agriculture, horticulture and allied sectors besides 18,861 new business enterprises will be created over the period of next five years.""To empower the farmers to store their produce for better returns, the government will create 67000 Metric tons of Controlled Atmosphere (CA) storage capacity," said the release.

As per the release, Jammu and Kashmir government is encouraging and aiding private players to set up cold storage (CA) facilities in order to reduce post-harvest losses by increasing the shelf life of various agriculture and horticulture products, as well as to address the issue of distressed crop sales by farmers.

The government has taken several concrete steps to increase agriculture and horticulture production, as well as to improve crop quality, with a special emphasis on post-harvesting management infrastructure, particularly in the private sector," further read the release.

Highlighting the government's initiative to promote beekeeping in the state, the release said, "Jammu and Kashmir's government has launched a Rs 46.65 crore for `Promotion of Beekeeping' project to triple the honey production over the next five years.""Monitoring and traceability will be done through Governance Innovation (GI) labs. 20 Custom Hiring centres (CHCs) will be also established to extend pollination facilities. Jammu and Kashmir will have a full-fledged centre of excellence for constancy, capacity building, and post-harvest management," the release said.

Under the project, the value addition of honey is also being envisioned coupled with efficient growth of the bee sector using native honey bees.

Informing about investment in fish farming, the release said, "To make fish farming a prosperous sector, the UT government has approved Rs 176 crore project to boost fish production.""The project involves importing genetically improved fish seed, upgrading existing hatcheries and fish rearing units, introducing species diversity in aquaculture through RandD, and commercializing trout and carp fish production using modern technologies such as Recirculatory Aquaculture System (RAS) and Biofloc and is estimated to double trout and carp production over the next five years," added the release.

Talking about the dairy sector, the release said, "Dairy is the biggest component of livestock husbandry and plays a pivotal role in sustaining agriculture income and acts as a growth engine for agriculture, allied sectors in JandK.""The milk production is expected to reach 45 Lakh metric tons from 25 Lakh metric tons over the next five years and will be achieved through a range of measures, including the expansion of breeding coverage and increasing per-animal productivity," added the release.

"One of the key elements of the dairy under the HADP project is to increase per-animal productivity from 2400 litres to 4300 litres, which is a significant increase. This will be achieved through various interventions, including the expansion of Artificial Insemination (AI) centres from 1389 to 2189," added the release further. (ANI)

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