Srinagar: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Thursday inaugurated National Seminar on “Agriculture and More: Beyond 4.0”, hosted by SKUAST-Kashmir.The 3-day seminar is being organised by Society for Community Mobilization for Sustainable Development, in collaboration with SKUAST-Kashmir and SKUAST-Jammu.
The Lt Governor congratulated the organizers for providing a common platform to Scientists and Experts for deliberating upon the innovative agricultural technologies, its future role in agriculture and allied sector, critical to Jammu Kashmir and India's economy.
To meet the future challenges of Agriculture and allied sector, we will require new smart technologies, which can provide most extensive and precise support to the farmers, said the Lt Governor.
“Agriculture 4.0 - the new-age Agriculture Revolution based on science and green technology is the answer to continuous growing food demand. It can provide growth and sustainability to agriculture & horticulture sector while protecting the ecosystem,” the Lt Governor observed.
Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics will not only increase the efficiency making farming more profitable and environment friendly, but also affect the entire production chain positively, helping small and marginal farmers, added the Lt Governor.
Highlighting the need to introduce advanced technologies and new methods to the farmers and making innovation core of Indian agriculture, the Lt Governor said that the government is very well aware of the future challenges in agriculture sector, and is taking the requisite measures to ensure that farmers have access to the latest technology and crucial information for the farming.
Jammu and Kashmir is moving towards becoming a major agricultural power of the country. Policy decisions and reforms taken in the last two-and-a-half years have yielded desired results, he said.
“We are making concerted efforts to promote innovative agricultural technologies, Data-Driven & Precision Agriculture, encouraging the use of Artificial Intelligence, ensuring maximum saturation of farm mechanization, besides creating global markets for local produce to make Agriculture and allied sectors more lucrative, efficient and eco-friendly,” the Lt Governor said.
The Lt Governor asked the new generation to be a part of the agriculture’s transformation process. He said, the modern technology will benefit the entire supply chain offering opportunity to young entrepreneurs. It will ensure food security and reduce dependency on imports, increase in productivity and major shift towards innovation and knowledge-based economy," the Lt Governor added.
The Lt Governor assured government’s support to the agri-startups and entrepreneurs, and said that the Startups will be provided with space/land in the Industrial estates across the UT at concessional rates so that their innovations could be connected to the market and reach the farming community.
He also urged the Agriculture Scientists, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and PRIs to adopt a coordinated and integrated approach to encourage new technologies of Agriculture 4.0.
Atal Dulloo, Financial Commissioner (Additional Chief Secretary), Agriculture Production Department while speaking on the occasion stressed on the necessity of refining the strategies and revising the policies and programs in the agriculture sector along with a continuous assessment of achievements and identifying the challenges in the progress and growth of the sector.
He highlighted the role of the Universities in preparing Geo-climatic area-based agriculture models applicable and spoke extensively on the interventions in terms of strategies and technologies that could further overhaul the agriculture and allied sector. The UT government has kept a sufficient budget for Agriculture sector and all requirements of the sector would be met, he added.
Prof. Nazir Ahmad Ganai, Vice-Chancellor, SKUAST-K in his welcome address highlighted the achievements of the University in agriculture and allied sectors and its endeavours to bring agriculture technologies to the farmers.
Prof. J.P Sharma, Vice-Chancellor, SKUAST Jammu threw light on the priority areas on which the Agriculture University is working. We are creating an enabling environment for startups and entrepreneurs, besides giving much attention to new research & technologies. More than 500 research papers have been received for the seminar which would contribute to policy decisions, he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Hina Shafi Bhatt, VC, J&K Khadi & Village Industries Board said that the KVIB has forged a strong alliance with SKUAST for development and promotion of Agriculture, besides training people associated with the sector.
Dr Rajneesh Tyagi, General Secretary MOBILIZATION Society also spoke on the vision behind the National Seminar.
On the occasion, the Lt Governor felicitated the progressive farmers, innovative start-ups and outstanding achievers in the field of agriculture. He also released a souvenir for the conference, journals and books having treasures of knowledge gathered from across the country. Books on transforming Agriculture and adopting Smart Agriculture were also released.
Earlier, the Lt Governor interacted with students and faculty innovators, SKUAST Start-ups, and inspected the stalls put up by SKUAST, government departments and private players.
Prof. Nilofar Khan, Vice-Chancellor, University of Kashmir; Prof. Rakesh Sehgal, Director NIT Srinagar; Prof. Sarfaraz Ahmad, Director Research SKUAST-K; HODs; faculty members & students of SKUAST, besides Scientists from various Universities, senior officers and farmers attended the inaugural ceremony of the National Seminar.