SKUAST Kisan Mela Twenty20: A Practical Education

Continuing the trend, and making a further stride in mission “Doubling farmers’ income by 2022”, SKUAST-Kashmir is organizing 5th Technology Exhibition-cum-Seed Sale Mela (Farmers’ Fair/Kisan Mela) on 7th & 8th March, 2020. A huge public participation is expected in this razzamatazz. An event unique apropos to the contributions of Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nazeer Ahmad, as it took birth (in 2016) only after 5-6 months of his taking over the reins of SKUAST and nearly 33-years of her (SKUAST) age. An event having significance in bringing farmers-scientists-industry people on one platform and share their past, present and future to create tomorrow today for a fair percentage of valley people who are truly associated with agriculture and allied sectors.

Kisan Mela provides an opportunity to all stakeholders to present recent developments, new products and technology to the producers, and in return they get a chance to meet the company representatives and obtain detailed information about latest technologies (theoretical and practical knowledge, skills, and artefacts that can be used to develop products and services as well as their production and delivery systems; technology can be embodied in people, materials, plant equipment and tools), methodology and application, legal regulation etc in addition to information transfer from one another. Agricultural information, which is dynamic due to increased farmer awareness, plays a crucial role in agricultural development and improving the livelihood of farmers. Kisan Mela offers an exceptional opportunity to farmers to access reliable, updated and relevant information, thus helps reduce farmers’ risk and uncertainty, and empowers them to make good decisions.

In view of recent disease outbreaks in livestock in district Kupwara and associated losses due to morbidity and mortality, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kupwara in collaboration with Animal & Sheep Husbandry District Units has started “Mission Deworming & Better Livestock Health”, an effort to provide maximum affordable support to farmers for deworming of livestock and bettering livestock health. KVK has also sought support from leading veterinary pharmaceutical companies, to their maximum possible limit, in achieving the desired targets. Kisan Mela Twenty20 provides the affected farmers and KVK a window of opportunity to reap the maximum benefits.

As the clock is ticking, and as dairy farming as entrepreneurship is picking up in Kashmir valley, I hope Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor (known for his liking and taste for farmer-friendly initiatives), on the pattern of Kisan Mela, makes it convenient to organize a medium-sized “Livestock Fair” at the picturesque spot of Mountain Livestock Research Institute, Mansbal which hosts the only varsity-run dairy farm. Prolific livestock, imported elite germplasm, feed mill, well established milk plant producing quality, affordable and powerful/influential milk, well equipped laboratory, book-rich library, worth seeing vermi-technology units, fodder bank, centre of advanced and applied research on dairy science, agile mind and more so (all supposed traits of MLRI, BUT…) shall strengthen the commitment and will of visiting qualified unemployed youth towards dairy entrepreneurship. This endeavour shall be written in golden words in the annals of SKUAST history in addressing the unemployment issue. Being a Vet, I crave for such fair and hope to see it in spring Twenty20.

I am sure farmers from nook and corner of the valley will visit SKUAST Kashmir, Shalimar campus on 7th & 8th March, 2020. The aura and ambience of the venue will refresh the guests besides enriching their knowledge base. I yearn for Kisan Mela-2021 & 2022 under the patronage of Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nazeer Ahmad for his passion for growth of this agricultural university and till completion of mission “doubling farmers’ income by 2022”. I wish SKUAST Kashmir, my alma mater, a great going in its vision and mission.

The views expressed are author’s own & not of the institution he works for

Aijaz Ahmad Dar, PhD is Subject Matter Specialist  (Animal Science), KVK Kupwara