Srinagar , Mar 31: To create an enabling environment for transforming J&K agriculture and allied sectors to increase farmer income, ensure food security and accelerate UT's economic growth, Rs 3156 crore have been allocated for these vital sectors in the budget for 2023-24.
A Holistic Agriculture Development Plan has been rolled out with 29 proposed projects worth an outlay of Rs 5012 crore to be implemented over the next 5 years.
An official said that the novel initiative will create additional job opportunities for 2,87,910 people in agriculture, horticulture and allied sectors besides 18,861 new business enterprises will be created over the next five years.
Under the ambitious project, the government will create a 67000 Metric tons CA Storage Capacity enabling the farmers to store their produce for better returns.
Jammu and Kashmir government is encouraging and aiding private players to set up cold storage (CA) facilities to reduce post-harvest losses by increasing the shelf life of various agriculture and horticulture products, as well as to address the issue of distressed crop sales by farmers.
The government has taken several concrete steps to increase agriculture and horticulture production besides improving crop quality with a special emphasis on post-harvesting management infrastructure, particularly in the private sector.
As part of HADP, the UT administration has launched a Rs 46.65 crore `Promotion of Beekeeping’ project to triple honey production over the next 5 years.
Monitoring and traceability will be done through GI labs besides 20 Custom Hiring Centers (CHCs) will also be established for extended pollination facilities. 'Jammu and Kashmir will have a full-fledged centre of excellence for constancy, capacity building and post-harvest management,” said the official.
Under the project, the value addition of honey is also being envisioned coupled with efficient growth of the bee sector using native honey bees.
To make Fish farming a prosperous sector, the UT government has approved an Rs. 176 crore project to boost fish production. The project involves importing genetically improved fish seed, upgrading existing hatcheries and fish rearing units, introducing species diversity in aquaculture through R&D and commercializing trout and carp fish production using modern technologies such as RAS and Biofloc and is estimated to double trout and carp production over the next 5 years.
Similarly, dairy is the biggest component of livestock husbandry and plays a pivotal role in sustaining agriculture income and acts as a growth engine for agriculture, and allied sectors in J&K.
The milk production is expected to reach 45 Lakh MTs from 25 Lakh MTs over next 5 years and will be achieved through a range of measures including expansion of breeding coverage and increasing per animal productivity.
One of the key elements of the Dairy under the HADP project is to increase per-animal productivity from 2400 litre to 4300 litre, which is a significant increase. This will be achieved through a range of interventions including the expansion of Artificial Insemination (AI) centres from 1389 to 2189.