Srinagar: The farmer-centric reforms launched by Jammu and Kashmir government in the past two years have empowered the farmer community socially and economically by increasing their income manifold making them Aatma Nirbhar.
J&K is now among the top five states and UTs in terms of farm income with a monthly income of Rs 18,918 per farmer.
The UT government is constantly striving to provide farmers with direct access to modern technologies and credit facilities besides encouraging natural farming to improve profitability and sustainability in agriculture and allied sectors.
J&K Agriculture department has launched aggressive marketing and branding of local agri-products, and mechanization in the Agriculture and Horticulture sector. In this regard, High-Density Plantation, diversification, better quality seeds, capacity buildings, GI tagging, expansion of banking facilities, and micro-irrigation has achieved rich dividends for farmers and have brought a structural change in agriculture and horticulture sector.
More than a million beneficiaries from J&K received direct financial support of Rs. 1983.29 crore during the past three years under the PM Kisan scheme. Besides, 12 lakh farmers have been issued Kisan Credit Cards (KCC), out of this, 9.46 lakh KCC are live/operative in the UT.
The J&K government is providing 50 per cent capital support up to Rs. 22.15 lakh per hectare under a high-density plantation scheme. A common farmer used to find it difficult to arrange another 50 per cent capital due to the high-interest rate. The inclusion of HDPS under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund Scheme has made available the credit on interest subvention of 3 per cent per annum for 7 years.
The credit guarantee coverage made available under credit guarantee fund trust offers loans up to Rs 2 crore for micro and small enterprises schemes. Besides, the promotion of ‘Vocal for Local’ has opened up a plethora of opportunities for everyone associated with the Agriculture & allied sectors to grow and prosper.
The government is bringing National and International players on board for enhancing the knowledge and expertise and providing global market linkages to J&K’s farming community, an official said.
Notably, the J&K government is handholding 500 enterprising farmers with knowledge-based intervention every year to harness the potential of organic produce.
Horticulture has now become the backbone of the economy of Jammu and Kashmir. From state-of-the-art machinery to new plants, water supply resources for farming, training, and expansion of the area of the high-density plantation, many innovative measures have been taken in the past year and many more are in the pipeline for future deliverables aiming at the growth of the farming sector.