Omar gives call for economic independence by self-reliant means
Baramulla, October 24:- Chief Minister Mr. Omar Abdullah today said the honour and dignity of the people of Jammu and Kashmir depends on their economic independence which can be only achieved if the population is self reliant. Addressing a mammoth gathering in this historic town on the occasion of the largest ever Kissan mela in the State, Omar said that the Government is working tirelessly to strengthen the economy of the State and empower the people by making them self-sufficient. He said the mainstay of Kashmir’s economy are agriculture, horticulture, handicrafts and tourism and all the four sectors have received special focus of his Government and all efforts will be made in the future as well to strengthen these sectors. Referring to agriculture, the Chief Minister said modern agricultural technology needs to be blended with conventional methods to enhance the quality and increase the yield to enable higher returns and international acceptance.

Mr.  Omar called for a comprehensive policy to make agriculture an economic hub, especially for educated youth. He said diverse cropping pattern and utilization of modern farm technology were significantly important in this regard.

“The vast potential of economic activities in agriculture and allied sectors has to be scientifically harnessed and young person’s persuaded to take up profitable ventures in this field”, he said.

The Chief Minister said that there was urgent need to adopt a new strategy of cultivating crops of higher economic values and utilizing available agriculture land to its optimum.

“Popularizing double and triple cropping pattern by taking to modern technology and using high yielding varieties of seeds besides application of balanced doses of fertilizers were need of the hour”, he said asking the Agriculture Department to concentrate on this aspect and encourage growing of cash crops as a regular farming practice.

Omar Abdullah underlined the importance of building buffer fertilizer stocks to meet the requirement of farmers well in time throughout the year. “The system of procuring fertilizers at the nick of the time in kharief and rabi seasons hamper its smooth supply to the farmers. It is, as such, essential to build a fertilizer bank where all kinds of fertilizers will be available to the farmers during all the seasons”. He directed the concerned department to work out a befitting programme in this regard.

The Chief Minister underscored the significance of hybrid and improved varieties of seeds to boost up the production. He said that replacement of low yielding varieties was all the more important to give considerable fillip to the agriculture production. He said the Department should formulate a programme of achieving 100 percent replacements of seeds by high yielding varieties in a phased manner. “The farming community has to be properly educated in this regard and sufficient quantity of improved seeds made available to them accordingly”.

On National Saffron Mission launched with the assistance of Central Government, Omar Abdullah said that the Rs. 376 crore prestigious project was likely to give required push to the cultivation, production and marketing of saffron. He said the Mission was aimed at restoring the pristine glory of ‘Kashmir Saffron’ and make it a reputed brand of quality in the international market competing with Iran and Spain.

“To achieve this goal, the subject matter specialists in the field and the implementing agency of the Mission has to render their services in a real missionary spirit. The funds need to be utilized judiciously aiming at ameliorating the lot of saffron growers and enhancing the cultivation of quality saffron. The strict adherence to market quality saffron should be the bench mark of theMission”, he said and advised growers and saffron traders to play their important role in maintaining the purity and genuineness of their product.

On the production and marketing of fruit, the Chief Minister said that it was highly encouraging that despite climatic vagaries, the production of fruit in the State this year registered remarkable increase. He said the hindrance in the transportation of fruit at the inception of the marketing season due to law and order situation, was tackled by the Government successfully ensuring its smooth export. “I am personally monitoring the transshipment process receiving daily reports about the dispatches to different terminal markets”.

Omar Abdullah said that the State’s specialty in Sericulture sector also needed focused attention. He said efforts were required to restore Kashmir silk and give new dimension to this economic activity. He expressed satisfaction over the progress achieved in this sector during the last 21 months and expressed the hope that sericulture development will receive remarkable boost in coming days.

The Chief Minister said that the constitution of Kissan Board in the State was aimed at giving new dimension to the agriculture activities in the State and help popularizing and universalizing modern farm technology. He said under Krishi Kissan Yojna about Rs. 122 crore were being spent this year on Agriculture sector against Rs. 40 crore last year. Similarly on popularizing new technology Rs. 50 crores were being expended this year against Rs. 17 crores last year.

Omar Abdullah asked the SKUAST to ensure transfer of the new research and farm techniques developed in the University to the field so that farmers reap the fruit of modern technology. “The scientific findings and the research work should not lie on papers. There is urgent need to apply this in the field and help revolutionize the productivity and production”, he maintained.

The function was addressed by Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Taj Mohi-ud-Din, Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Hassan Mir, Ministers of State, Ajaz Ahmad Khan, Dr. Manohar Lal, Javaid Ahmad Dar, Vice Chairman, Kissan Board, Rachpal Singh, MLA Sopore, Mohammad Ashraf and Vice Chancellor, SKUAST-K, Dr. Tezpal Singh.

Various departments including Agriculture, Horticulture, Floriculture, Animal and Sheep Husbandry, Sericulture, Poultry, Fisheries etc. had installed their stalls in the Mela which were also inspected by the Chief Minister.

On reaching at the site of Mela thousands of people received Omar Abdullah with enthusiasm and extended him the warm welcome. They raised slogans in the favour of Chief Minister and his Government.  


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