‘Intl Saffron Market to be setup in Kashmir’


SRINAGAR:- Minister for Agriculture Production, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura yesterday said that the Government has taken various steps taken for the promotion Agriculture sector, the Minister said Rs. 4.50 crore have been earmarked for Saffron Mission in Jammu and Kashmir with an aim to boost its quality and productivity. He said the Department has been successful in increasing the Saffron productivity from 1.50 Kg per hectare to 4.50 Kg per hectare. He said Kashmir saffron is known for its quality throughout the world and steps are being taken to setup an International Saffron Market in Kashmir.

The Minister said, Government is committed to revive once famed Silk industry of the State, adding that two silk reeling units will be set up in twin capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar to give boost to this sector.

 Winding up the discussions on Ministry of Agriculture Production in the House, Hanjura said Agriculture and its allied sectors are the backbone of the State’s economy. He said 73 percent of the State’s population is associated with Agriculture and the Department is working hard to create awareness among farmers to adopt latest methods of farming to increase Agricultural production.

  Hanjura said that main thrust of the Government is to create awareness among farmers about various Centrally Sponsored Schemes like Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana( PMSBY). He said that it is the responsibility of the State Government to provide irrigation facilities to the tail end under PMKSY.

The Minister said Suchetgarh and R S Pura areas in Jammu division are being developed as Basmati villages, while as Samboora in Pampore is being developed as Saffron village. He said Rajouri, Poonch, Bhaderwah and Kishtwar are being developed as Rajmash clusters. Similarly, he said Leh, Kargil, Assar and Nowshera will be developed as vegetable clusters.

Hanjura further said that the Government is committed to revive silk industry and in this regard two silk reeling units will be set up at Jammu and Srinagar districts for cocoon marketing, adding that two Mulberry plant nurseries will also be setup at Sunderbani and Udhampur.  

Earlier, several members of the House took part in the discussion and presented their view about the working of Agriculture Production Ministry.

Dr. Bashir Ahmad Shah (Veeri) said that the State is blessed with natural resources and Government should ensure that these resources are used, preserved and maintained in a proper manner. He said Government should check the conversion of agricultural land ensuring that there should be no construction work on saffron lands.

 Mr. Showkat Hussain Ganai asked for providing farmers fertilizers, latest tools and seeds at subsidized rates.  He also suggested that Government should pay attention to lift irrigation schemes to augment the irrigation facilities to the farmers.

 Mr. Surinder Choudhary said that Government should take some steps to restore the land that was washed away during 2014 floods, besides, Agricultural Universities should serve their mandate of research, extension and education for the benefit of the farmers.

 Mr. Sajjad Kichloo said that Government should allocate more funds for development of Agricultural sector. He also urged that Government should stop diverting ReZs to Horticulture Department and do area-wise research to check the potential of various kinds of crops at different places.

 Mr. Qaiser Jamsheed Lone requested for reviving the procurement of potato and kidney bean seeds from farmers and asked that Government should take steps to promote potato and kidney beans farming in the Machil areas.

Dr. Shehnaz Ganai urged the Government to check the shrinking of agricultural land in the State and called for establishing “Specific Agriculture Zones. She asked to address the issue of encroachment of Agricultural land in rural areas, besides initiating soil testing process, introduction of an “Agricultural policy” in the State. She also asked for enhancing marketing of State agriculture products and said that the Department should develop assets like Agriculture Malls.

 Mr. Ghulam Nabi Monga urged that land conversion should be stopped at an earliest.  Besides, he also said that Government should provide fertilizers on time.

Urging to increase the output of Agricultural University, Mr. Naresh Kumar Gupta asked for proper utilization of Centrally Sponsored Schemes. He also called for establishment of vegetable Mandis and compensation for Rajma growers in Baderwah.

Mr. Saif-Ud-Din Bhat said that Government should address the issues of land conversion, introduce latest technology and provide quality seed and fertilizers to the farmers.

Mr. Sham Lal Bhagat said that Government should have ward-wise information to know which kind of crop is grow there. He also asked for opening up of Vegetable Mandis in Doda.

 Mr. Ajat Shatru Singh said that Government needs to work on changing the mindset of people towards agriculture. While asking to initiate scientific processes like mobile soil testing and Earth mapping Mr. Singh also called for starting 24/7 call centres for farmers and organize awareness workshops for them on regular basis. He also suggested to start Organic Farming, Multi-Crop Farming, Rain Harvesting and Drip Irrigation in State.

 Mr. Firdous Tak said that Government should take steps to preserve the Rajma of Bhaderwah and Saffron of Kishtwar as they are famous globally. He said Government should address the issue of decline in Agricultural practices in the State. He also stressed for raising awareness of various Centrally Sponsored Schemes for farmers.

 Mr. Sofi Yusuf said that Government should give some incentive to the farmers whose land was washed away in 2014 floods, besides, there should be a policy for hailstorm affected farmers.

Mr. Khursheed Alam said that Government should re-do the land reforms to make Agricultural department a profitable sector.



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