Scientists to work intensively for farming community: Mir
PALAMPUR (SHIMLA), June 08 (Scoop News) –JK Minster for Agriculture , Ghulam Hassan Mir this morning urged upon the scientists to work intensively and accurately for assessing the felt needs of the farming community besides to develop new methods and technologies in the field of agriculture which will bring economic upliftment of the farmers.
The Minister was addressing at the inaugural session of 2-days XXII Meeting of Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) at CSK Himachal Pradesh, Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Palampur (H.P) here today. He said in order to boost the agriculture production in the State’s, centres of All India Coordination Research projects need to be established and strengthened in J&K and other hill States of the country.
The Minister said that Studies on climatic Resilient Mountain Agriculture in
Mr Mir said that Council was kind enough to approve establishment of four KVKs in
The Minister said that the SKUAST-K has established two Highland Agricultural Research Stations one at Zanskar and another at Changthang and adding that ICAR institutions are invited to use the facilities to launch highland specific research programmes. He said that scientists should make an endeavour for the conservation and improvement of typical live stock of Ladakh region which include Double Humped Camel, Changthani Pashmina Goat, Zanaskari Horse and Yak.
The Minister said similarly, the traditional and speciality crops of hill states such as rajmash, black-zeera, sea-buck thorn, buck-wheat, lesser millets, etc. which have the potential of giving high returns need special attention in conservation of germ-plasm, development of improved cultivars and evolving package of practices. “Some collaborative efforts between the State Department of Agriculture & State Agriculture Universities have already been started. However, the SAUs need to be fully equipped by the ICAR with lab facilities for characterization of local land races of these crops”, he said.
Mr Mir said that there is also a need to develop environmentally sustainable and economically viable cropping system and in this direction ICAR has to address the issue and also develop short duration Hybrid Rice varieties suited for agro-climatic conditions of Jammu & Kashmir.
Saying that Maize is mostly cultivated as rain-fed Kharif crop over an area of about 3.19 lac hectares and contributes about 22% to the total food-grain production., The Minister said that the area that needs most attention is the management of rain water, harnessing of ground water and development of drought resistant Maize Hybrid/ Composite varieties. He said that hybrids based on indigenous plant types that inherently possess genes responsible for resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses need to be developed for improvement in productivity, production and quality produce and asked the scientists must address this issue. He said there is a pressing need to restore the original traits of Basmati-370 through purification, both at genetic and phenotypic level.
“The existing traditional methods of seed production in the most valuable crops of the State like saffron and black-zeera are not adequate to fulfil our requirements of higher Seed Multiplication Rate in these crops. A breakthrough can come through the non-conventional methods. Therefore, ICAR institutions should come up with protocols for seed production of these valuable crops through non-conventional techniques like Tissue Culture” he asserted.
Referring that farm mechanization in hills is constrained due to small holding size, steep slopes and difficulty in carriage, Mr Mir said therefore development of suitable machinery for hills is a priority which needs to be addressed by the research institutions.
The Minister said that “I would like to touch upon two other areas that we need to focus for accelerating our Agro based Cottage Industries. The first is development of high yielding strains of Mushroom under diverse climatic conditions of our State. Cost of Paddy and Wheat straw for the preparation of compost is becoming expensive and thus prohibitive day by day that hinders the development of this cottage industry. Scientists must develop substitute substratum which is economically viable”.
“The second aspect is protection of Honey bees Apis cereana, Apis mellifera, Apis dorstra & Apis florea species adapted to climatic conditions of our State against new and emerging diseases, pathogens and to arrest the tendency of Apris cereana swarms to abscond”, he said I hope our Agriculture Research Institutions will pay the required attention to these areas.
Mr Mir said that “I am confident that scientists and extension agencies will focus on the constraints being faced by the farmers and come up with practical solutions so that the farming community of the Hill States is able to harness optimal Agriculture produce”.
Tags: JK Minster , Agriculture , GH Mir , ICAR
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