Govt giving special impetus to create physical, economic, knowledge connectivity: LG

'Rural economy improved by protecting interest of small, marginal farmers'
He said that the J&K administration was making concerted efforts to increase productivity through infusion of traditional knowledge, modern science, and technology.
He said that the J&K administration was making concerted efforts to increase productivity through infusion of traditional knowledge, modern science, and technology.Special arrangement

Jammu: Lt Governor Manoj Sinha Wednesday said that Jammu and Kashmir would lead in Geographical Indications (GIs) use for agricultural and handicraft sectors.

An official spokesman in a statement issued here said that inaugurating the two-day workshop on GIs of North-Western Himalayas at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Jammu (SKUAST-J), the LG lauded the efforts of SKUAST-J and Agriculture Production and Farmers Welfare Department for bringing experts of GIs, Intellectual Property Rights and officials on a common platform to chalk out constraints and opportunities from the farmer’s and artisan’s perspective.

The workshop aims to sensitise all stakeholders on GIs, the oldest category of trademarks, identify potential products and formulate future strategy to empower rural communities.

“GIs could be a game changer for the rural economy and J&K will lead in GI use for agricultural and handicraft sectors. GIs also has the potential to substantially extend wider benefits to rural areas while strengthening historical and cultural links between place and people,” the LG said. “Besides ensuring sustainable livelihoods and generating more income for the producers, GIs will also play a key role in protection of indigenous knowledge. It will help the particular geographical area to produce and sustain niche market products.”

Highlighting the significance of GIs in the 21st century economy, the LG said that the J&K government was making dedicated efforts for GI tagging of niche and premium local products and helping them to create their distinctive identity.

“GI tagging of Kashmir’s saffron, hand knotted carpets, papier-mâché and several other products resulted in huge success for local producers,” he said. “GI tagging of several other products is in the pipeline, which will bring socio-economic prosperity in respective areas.”

The LG said that since GIs denote the origin and the quality of products, the government's aim was to establish local brands in the global market through effective brand and marketing strategy.

“Other mechanisms are also being evolved to address the challenges faced by producers,” he said.

“‘People First’ is our mantra to speed up the pace of sustainable development. Special impetus is being given to create physical, economic and knowledge connectivity to reduce the rural-urban gap, improving rural economy, and protecting the interest of small and marginal farmers,” the LG said.

He said that in the last two years, unprecedented work had been done to strengthen physical, knowledge, and economic connectivity.

The LG said that several initiatives had been taken to bring socio-economic prosperity in the lives of the farmers, producers, and all associated stakeholders.

He said that the J&K administration was making concerted efforts to increase productivity through infusion of traditional knowledge, modern science, and technology.

“Promotion of agro-processing industries, creation of better market-linkages, contribution of cooperative societies, universities and experts, strong system of e-governance, and e-delivery mechanism has eliminated the bottlenecks and provided new impetus for the development,” the LG said.

He stressed the need to document the impact of GIs on promoting the products.

The LG reiterated the government's commitment to implement the policy on holistic development of agriculture and allied sector in letter and spirit.

He also inaugurated an exhibition on potential indigenous products which can be registered for GIs and inspected stalls displaying around 40 unique and niche products of J&K installed by the entrepreneurs and the government departments.

Additional Chief Secretary Agriculture Production Department, Atal Dulloo said that the two-day workshop provides an opportunity to discuss, promote, and capitalise the unique niche products of North-Western Himalayas.

Padmashri awardee and National IP awardee Rajani Kant, who is working on IPRs and GIs, in his address said that there was a probability of GI tagging of nine products of Jammu and Kashmir by March 2023.

Padmashri awardee and former Head, Division of Genetics, ICAR-IARI, V P Singh threw light on the development of different varieties of Basmati.

VC SKUAST-J Prof J P Sharma and VC SKUAST-K Prof Nazir Ganai shared the efforts to promote local niche agri-products and the products identified for GI tagging.

A publication on IPR: Registration and Protection was also released on the occasion.

Commissioner Secretary, Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Mandeep Kaur was also present on the occasion.

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