'J&K’s Oil Industry targets Rs 1290 cr annual revenue’

'J&K’s Oil Industry targets Rs 1290 cr annual revenue’
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Jammu, Mar 13: Jammu and Kashmir’s oil industry would be witnessing a significant transformation with the implementation of multifarious initiatives under the Holistic Agriculture Development Programme (HADP) by the Agriculture Production Department.

The recent release of the final report by the Apex Committee, headed by Dr Mangla Rai, Former DG ICAR, has charted out the roadmap for the implementation of 29 projects under HADP. Significantly, among the approved projects, the promotion of oilseed cultivation has been given due consideration. The Oil seed project included several interventions aimed at increasing oilseed production and productivity, with an estimated annual output worth Rs1290 crore.

Additional Chief Secretary of, Agriculture Production Department, Atal Dulloo, reiterated that Jammu and Kashmir’s oil industry is about to receive a significant boost. The department will be implementing a multifaceted initiative aimed at promoting oilseed cultivation in the region with a project outlay of Rs 31.00 crore. This three-year project is expected to create more job opportunities and contribute towards the overall economic growth of the region.

Pertinently, oilseed production is an essential sector of agriculture in India, contributing significantly to the country’s economy. India is one of the largest producers of oilseeds in the world, with an annual production of around 37-38 million metric tons. However, despite this, India is the largest importer of vegetable oils followed by USA and China.

Jammu and Kashmir is known for its diverse agro-climatic conditions that provide a suitable environment for cultivation of various crops, including oilseeds. To promote oilseed cultivation in the region, the J&K government has taken several initiatives under the Holistic Agriculture Development Program (HADP). The government intends to bring 210 Th Ha under oilseed cultivation from the current 140 Th Ha over the next three years. About 202.50 Th Ha shall be covered under rapeseed and mustard cultivation and 7.50 Th Ha shall be covered under sesame seed cultivation.

Besides, 70,000 Ha of additional areas shall be covered in potential oilseed districts like Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Udhampur, Rajouri, Reasi, Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama, Budgam, and Ganderbal and districts like Shopian, Bandipora, Ramban, and Doda, by utilizing fallow lands, culturable waste lands and leveraging increased cropping intensity apart from promoting intercropping systems.

More than 50% of the net sown area in Jammu division is rain-fed. Therefore, this project aims to promote crop diversification by cultivating sesame seed as a Kharif crop in Kandi and rain-fed areas of Jammu division. The total requirement of edible oils in the UT is 14.20 lakh quintal, whereas the UT produces only 3.36 lakh quintal. Hence, this initiative is crucial for region’s food security and economic growth.

The Union Territory (UT) is all set to witness a massive transformation in the agriculture sector with the implementation of a ground-breaking project that promises to increase oil seed production and create employment opportunities. The interventions, which included providing subsidized seeds and fertilizers, increasing the seed replacement rate and adopting innovative technologies like INM/IPM and micro irrigation, are aimed at boosting oil seed production from 11.20 lakh quintal to 25.20 lakh quintals annually, and productivity from 8 quintals per Ha to 12 quintal per Ha. This will also result in a significant increase in the production of edible oils from 3.36 lakh quintal to 9.07 lakh quintal. The project is expected to reduce the deficit in oilseed production by 35 percent and substantially decrease the outflow of foreign exchange due to oilseed imports.

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