Vocal for local
One of the key slogans for the present government is going ‘vocal for local’. This slogan reflects the true sense of the economy as our growth is envisaged in those activities that are local in form and can help the people flourish with ease.
One such sector that can do wonders in Jammu and Kashmir is agriculture and other allied sectors. These sectors have the ability to transform the region into a flourishing one.
This all can be possible by adopting a broad approach taking Agriculture and allied sectors on the path of sustainable and inclusive growth. The present government has created an enabling environment for transforming Agriculture and allied sectors here to increase the income of famers in line with the National targets, create jobs, ensure food security, speed up the economy and enhance the contribution of agriculture and allied sectors in the Gross Domestic Product of the UT.
During the past one year the reformative interventions made by the government has lead to sweeping changes in JK’s Agriculture sector. This has happened due to the integrated approach which included reducing input cost and increasing quality at pre-harvest stage and facilitation of farmers to link them with domestic and international markets.
All this is a unique and a new concept which was missing so far owing to a flawed growth in the agriculture sector. Right now consistent efforts are being made to diversify the agriculture by bringing in credit, technology, extension to step up present growth rate; besides building capacities of farmers together with creating entrepreneurship; encouraging High Density Plantation; extending agricultural mechanization support and developing Market infrastructure.
The growth potential of Agriculture and Horticulture sector has started finding interest among potential investors. Surprisingly, the progress in the sector is attracting markets and entrepreneurs from outside Jammu and Kashmir and all this is happening for the first time.
Since this is a new beginning a planned follow up is also needed to increase the earning potential of the farming sector. For this the low remunerative crops need to be replaced with the high value cash crops. Besides, a massive increase in the cultivation of organic and exotic vegetables also needs to be taken up so that the region grown beyond the limits.
To provide a further impetus to the agricultural sector the administration has achieved success by ensuring GI tagging of Saffron. Now the focus needs to be on in-organic certification of products like Basmati Rice and transportation of perishable products through air cargo to various domestic markets.
Though a lot has been achieved on this front too but lot more needs to be done by identifying some key products that can work wonders to help the agri-economy to grow and provide the much needed succor to the people of the region.
It is an irony that the people have missed out on the opportunities that the farming communities have availed over the past five decades in other parts of the country. The lagging behind reflects the lack of interest of the previous regimes who failed to offer a helping hand to the farming community.