Jammu, Oct 9: To boost the production, quality and marketing prospects of the Rajmash of J&K, popularly called the Bhaderwahi Rajmash, the State Government has launched a Rajmash Project under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) for the year 2011-12. The project, which envisage identification of land races, their characterization leading to quality seed production and area expansion over a period of 5 years at a total project cost of Rs 10.36 crores, has been initiated in eight districts of Jammu Division with an initial outlay of Rs 14.42 lakh during the current year.
This was disclosed during a meeting chaired by Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Hassan Mir with the Scientists of SKUAST Jammu and officers of Agriculture Department Jammu.
The meeting was attended by the Director of Agriculture Jammu, Ajay Khajuria, Director Extension Education Dr. K S Risam, Director Researches SKUAST Jammu Dr. A S Bali, Joint Directors of Agriculture, Chief Agriculture Officers of concerned districts and other Officers of the Agriculture Department Jammu.
Addressing the officers present, the Minister emphasized the need to improve the yields of traditional local cultivars of Rajmash, which although possessing a high quality, were grown and marketed under crop management practices that still required considerable improvement through interventions of quality inputs and the best scientific knowledge available from anywhere in the world. He remarked that Rajmash were the niche and valuable cash crop of the region and popular not only in the State, but even at the National level for taste, texture, aroma and palate.
Moreover, these were grown in the areas where little chemical fertilizers and insecticides-pesticides were used , he adeed. He called for developing the Rajmash areas as organic clusters thereby facilitating the farmer to earn added market value from the produce. He expressed satisfaction that such components had been incorporated in the project which would restore soil fertility and productivity at the individual farm level, create more employment opportunities and enhance farm level economy (i.e. farm profits) to restore confidence amongst the farmers in profitability of agriculture.
Speaking at the meeting, the Director Agriculture Jammu, Ajay Khajura, apprised that the Project was conceptualized to focus on sustainably boosting production, productivity, quality, post harvest management and marketing of this crop. He explained that the crop is grown in about 1000 hectares in Marmat, Ghat, Bhalessa, Bhagwah, Thathri, Bhaderwah, Gandoh blocks of Doda District, besides Marwah, Dachhan, Mandi, Bani and the other mainly dry temperate areas of Kishtwar, Poonch, Rajouri, Udhampur, Ramban, Kathua, and Reasi districts.