Projects worth Rs 5013 Cr will bring agriculture revolution in J&K: LG Sinha

LG Manoj Sinha [File]
LG Manoj Sinha [File] @OfficeOfLGJandK

Jammu: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Wednesday said that Jammu and Kashmir was heading for a revolution in agriculture and allied sectors.

An official spokesman in a statement issued here said that announcing three new schemes – Holistic Development of Agriculture and Allied Sectors, Aspirational Towns Development Programme, and Aspirational Panchayat Development Programme, the LG said: “Having gone through the contents of the projects that have been cleared by the committee and their expected outputs and outcomes, I am confident that a new revolution in the agriculture and allied sectors of J&K is on the anvil. J&K is determined to move forward to touch new heights of success.”

The Administrative Council, chaired by the LG, has approved these projects.

Holistic Development of Agriculture and Allied Sectors

In July this year the J&K administration constituted an Apex Committee for the Holistic Development of Agriculture and Allied Sectors for which leading luminaries like former DG ICAR Mangala Rai as its chairman and CEO NRAA Ashok Dalwai apart from other well known figures in the field of agriculture, planning, statistics and administration were invited.

The committee working in a mission mode came with a comprehensive plan in the form of 29 projects covering all the sectors within the ambit of APD in a record time of five months.

The unique thing about these projects is not only that they have been prepared by some of the finest brains in the country but also the fact that their formulation was undertaken in a consultative mode – ensuring that the opinion of all stakeholders including our farmers are taken onboard.

The projects which have now been approved by the Administrative Council and having an outlay of Rs 5013 crore over the next five years would transform the agriculture economy of J&K putting it on a new trajectory of growth, doubling the output of the sectors, boosting exports and making the sectors sustainable and commercially viable.

This would herald a new phase of farmer prosperity and rural livelihood security in J&K.

These 29 projects will almost double the output of the sectors, boosting exports and making the sectors sustainable and commercially viable.

These gains would be equitable, reaching the last person in the pyramid and ecologically sustainable through efficient use of bio-resources for food, feed and industry.

The agricultural output which stands at Rs 37600 crores would increase by over Rs 28,142 crore to reach more than Rs 65,700 crore per year, with a resultant increment in sectoral growth rate to 11 percent.

The interventions would create employment opportunities for over 2.8 lakh youth and establish around 19,000 enterprises.

More than 2.5 lakh persons would be skilled in various agri-enterprises ranging from seed production, precision farming of vegetables, bee-rearing, cocoon production, mushroom farming, integrated and organic agriculture, high-density fruit farming to processing, dairying, sheep and poultry farming as well as fodder production.

In the next five years, J&K would have a motivated workforce with agri-entrepreneurial skills in a commercially viable and ecologically sustainable agri-ecosystem.

In the agriculture sector, the approved projects are development of seed and seed multiplication chain in PPP mode; promotion of niche crops in J&K; promotion of vegetables and exotic vegetables under the open and hi-tech protected cultivation; strengthening agri-marketing system in J&K; promotion of medicinal and aromatic plants on commercial basis; promotion of apiculture; technological interventions to strengthen sericulture in J&K; promotion of nutri cereals (millets); farm mechanisation and automation; promotion of mushroom cultivation; promotion of oilseeds; formulation of 300 FPOs; adoption and promotion of Integrated Farming System (IFS) and Integrated Livelihood Systems (ILS); promotion of commercial floriculture; development of rain fed areas; alternate agriculture system for sustainability; sensor-based smart agriculture; minimising pesticide use in agriculture; J&K soil and land resource information system and innovative approaches in agriculture extension.

In the horticulture sector, the approved projects are production of designer plants for promotion of high-density plants and rejuvenation of orchards and food processing programme for development of clusters for specific products.

In the livestock sector, the approved projects are dairy development; reorienting priorities including self-sufficiency in mutton production; roadmap for poultry development; technological interventions for fish seed and trout production; promotion of wool, pelt processing, and marketing, and development of fodder resources of J&K.

In the education sector and SKUAST, the approved project is support to human resource development for technological backstop for sustainable and accelerated transformation of agriculture.

The major outputs and likely outcomes of 29 approved projects include achievement of recommended seed replacement rate by cultivation of 2.596 lakh quintals of quality seed.

The measure would result in the production increase between 15 percent and 45 percent depending on the crop; production of niche crops like saffron, kalazeera, rajmash, and basmati would be boosted by bringing additional 11,000 hectares under their cultivation through diversification; quality plantation material of these crops by establishment of new nurseries and seed villages would be made available along with GI tagging and compact value chains and the self-reliance in vegetables and boosting production of exotic varieties for export.

The vegetable production would increase from 19.90 lakh to 25.87 lakh metric tonnes.

New 1100 hi-tech green houses and 3548 polyhouses would be established with an upscaling of cropping intensity to 250 percent.

An intensive network of post-harvest and marketing value chains from rural business and service hubs, reefer vans to mandis, from grading lines to branding centers with integrated 67,000 metric tonnes of CA storage space would also be crearted.

A dedicated backend market intelligence cell would be made functional to extend marketing decision support to farmers in real-time.

This would lead to a new dawn in medicinal and aromatic plant sector by cultivation of MAPs on more than 250 hectares of land with a potential sectoral output of Rs 750 crore in 15 years.

The honey production would triple from 2200 metric tonnes to 6610 metric tonnes beside Rs 475 crores per year would be generated from value added byproducts.

It would have a spinoff effect on crops that rely on cross-pollination by increase in bee numbers.

There would be doubling of silkworm seed and cocoon production and regaining of J&K’s glory as a producer of high-quality bivoltine silk and planting of 10 lakh mulberry trees and creation of a state-of-the-art automatic reeling facility.

There would also be focus on climate resilient millet crop and nutri-cereals cultivation on 14,000 hectares area in kandi and rain-fed belts and doubling of per hectare productivity of millets and establishment of 60 millet processing units.

There would also be increase in farm power from present 1.74 Kw per hectare to 2.5 Kw per hectare while 283 custom hiring centres and 142 AI and precision farming centers would be established.

There would also be diversification in farm income through boost in cultivation of mushrooms, quadrupling mushroom production from 2100 metric tonnes to 7800 metric tonnes and value addition through establishment of four mushroom canning and pickling unit.

There would also be doubling in production of oil seeds and increasing area under cultivation from 1.4 lakh hectares to 2.1 lakh hectares while 100 new oil seed extraction units would be established for value addition and there would be an increase in per hectare productivity from 800 kg to 1200 kg.

There would be creation of 300 FPOs encompassing 3000 farmer interest groups (FIGs) by mobilisation of 60,000 farmers in each block of J&K and net returns to farmers as a result of collectivisation would increase by 10 to 12 percent.

Integrated farming systems, integrated organic farming systems and integrated livelihood system would be established by involving 85,000 farmer families in drought proneand rain-fed areas while there would be enhanced farmer income (1:2.01 CB ratio), and increased income per hectare by 100 percent.

J&K’s agro-climatic diversity in cultivation of temperate and other cut flowers would be harvested through strengthening of existing 150 units and creation of new 54 nurseries and 330 production units.

There would be 50 percent increase in fruit economy from Rs 10,000 crore per year to Rs 15,000 crore per year while 7500 hectares additional area would be brought under high-density fruit cultivation, 11 million new plant material would be produced along with 200 percent increase in productivity in existing orchards.

Seven product clusters in 17 districts handling 20 lakh metric tonnes produce would be mobilised and five mega clusters would be established with grant of Rs 50 crore each.

Milk, walnut, meat and poultry, vegetables and basmati along with one midi-cluster (cherry) with a grant of Rs 25 crore and one mini cluster (trout) with a grant of Rs 12.5 crore would create net revenue generation of over Rs 1450 crore per year.

The milk output would increase by 75 percent and milk entering the processing chain would be tripled.

The breeding cover would improve from 30 percent to 70 percent and conception rate by 10 percent.

There would be creation of facilities for production of sexed semen within J&K with an aim to replace 50 percent normal semen with sexed semen.

A total of 500 village-level milk collection units and 50 bulk milk chillers would be established.

There would be village-level value addition of 110 lakh liters of milk into traditional products and per animal milk productivity would increase from 2400 litres per annum to 4300 litres per annum.

Self-reliance in mutton would be achieved with sustainable wool and pelt value chains.

Importation of 2700 heads of superior muttonous breeds of sheep would be undertaken to effect genetic improvement in the sector.

ETT and AI programmes implementation would be intensified for genetic improvement and horizontal growth.

Overall, there would be a 300 percent increase in returns from wool and pelt to further secure livelihood of the traditional sheep and goat farmers while self-sufficiency in poultry meat and egg production would be achieved.

A total of 300 feed production units, 125 integrated hatcheries, and 200 big layer farms will be incentivized in private sector while 60 crore eggs and 6500 metric tonnes for free-range meat would become available annually from the backyard sector, which would prevent a capital flight of Rs 1273 crore per year.

The production of trout and carp would be doubled by introducing fresh germplasm imported from Europe along with modernisation and establishment of new hatcheries.

Modern technologies in water management and rearing by establishment of raceways, RAS&bio-floc would be established while there would be establishment of 13 fish feed mills, four cold storage-cum-ice production units, and four quality-cum-disease control labs.

The huge fodder deficit of J&K would be reduced by 80 percent through establishment of farmer demo plots on 4100 hectares per year, 300 hay-silage units, 25 fodder depots, and 500 units with 15,000 MT green fodder output of hydroponic units.

In addition, generation of 20 lakh metric units of fodder would be undertaken from orchards, forest closures and alpine and sub-alpine grasslands.

To boost extension and lab to land services 2000 Kissan Khidmat Centres (KKCs) for participatory planning and decentralised decision-making would be established to promote remunerative agriculture at panchayat levels.

The KKCs would ensure strong linkage with KVKs, line departments, and universities for technical support leading to holistic area specific agricultural plan and models, service delivery at farmer doorsteps and impact analysis of schemes.

Apart from addressing the major challenges facing the agriculture and allied sectors the projects also undertake prospective planning in the form of establishing standards and facilities for organic plantations, developing region specific farm machinery, demonstration of sensor-based smart farming models, developing a GIS and soil-testing based online repository for efficient soil and land use, minimising pesticide use through development of bio-pesticides and advanced spraying technologies as well as support for next generation of agri-technocrats through a programme of technological backstopping.

“I am sure that the J&K of the future will be a role model for the whole country in its agricultural practices and prosperous farming community," the LG said.

Aspirational Panchayat Development Programme

J&K is rolling out Aspirational Panchayat Development Programme (APDP) to select the most backward 285 panchayats (one panchayat per block) for their holistic development.

An array of key parameters for the preparation of Panchayat Development Index to rate the various Panchayats of J&K on socio-economic indicators concerning the lives of the people residing in the rural areas has already been identified.

This exercise would be taken upon the analogy of Aspirational Block Development Programme being implemented by J&K.

A total of 100 measurable indicators have been identified across nine sectors – six indicators in agriculture and allied activities, 11 in health and nutrition, 13 in education, seven in rural development and sanitation, four in beneficiary-oriented schemes, four in skill development, 17 in basic infrastructure, five in environment and 33 in good governance, which would give an insight of the existing status and incremental progress over a period of time.

On the basis of the importance of these sectors, weights would be assigned to each sector and sub-indicators as per relevance in the life of rural population.

These Aspirational Panchayats would be developed through convergence of various ongoing district, J&K schemes, and centrally-sponsored schemes and programmes. Additional financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh would be provided to the selected panchayats under the scheme for its further development after achieving saturation in the parameters like Soil Health Cards, Land Pass Books, Kisan Credit Cards, Shram Cards issued to eligible labourers, 100 percent institutional births, 100 percent vaccination of children in the age group of 9 to 11 months, zero percent Out of School Children, 100 percent solid waste collection and treatment, Aadhaar seeding with MGNREGA cards, and issuance of Golden Cards under PMJAY SEHAT.

A total of 285 most backward panchayats would be selected from 4291 panchayats of J&K (one Panchayat per block) on the basis of least aggregate score obtained on the selected 100 parameters and indicators in the Panchayat Development Index in the concerned block.

The data would be analysed in PD&MD and most backward panchayat in the block would be identified, the details of which would be shared with all respective Deputy Commissioners (DCs) for their authentication.

Aspirational Panchayat Development Programme (APDP) Dashboard would be developed by the IT Department for uploading the data of all panchayats on the selected indicators and parameters.

Subsequently, APDP Dashboard would be used to monitor the progress of these Aspirational Panchayats on Key Performance Indicators.

 Aspirational Panchayat Development Programme would be implemented under the overall supervision of the DC.

For smooth implementation of the programme, the DC would designate a Nodal Officer at district level from the Rural Development Department.

Panchayat Development Index would be introduced to develop and replicate best practices that drive improvement across the socio-economic themes of panchayats. The identified panchayats would be given special focus to saturate the inclusive development schemes and serve as model Panchayats.

Moreover, access of people of these panchayats to various schemes available for development of the poor would be improved and saturated, which would bring overall improvement in educational level, health and wellbeing and their living conditions.

This would be a move forward towards inclusive development of these areas ensuring benefits to the last man standing in the row.

Aspirational Towns Development Programme

J&K is rolling out the Aspirational Towns Development Programme (ATDP), the Urban Reform Incentive Fund (URIF) to incentivise the undertaking of reforms in the municipalities, and the assessment framework for rating various municipalities.

The Jammu & Kashmir Municipal Development Index (J&K MDI), 2022, is a tool to assess the development of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) across J&K against the normative development benchmarks.

While J&K MDI would act as a guide to evidence-based policy making, catalyse action to achieve broader developmental outcomes, including the sustainable development goals, assess and compare the outcomes achieved by municipal bodies, give citizens an insight into the functioning of local bodies and build a dialogue between the stakeholders, the URIF would provide necessary financial incentive to municipalities to undertake reforms in their journey of becoming Aspirational Towns.

Since the 74th Amendment Act gave constitutional recognition to the ULBs as the third tier of governance in 1993, municipalities have become pivotal to urban governance.

 It is apparent that the development and governance of the cities is determined by the functioning of the municipalities and they are the key agents that provide the enablers into making a city ‘smart and sustainable’.

The assessment framework examines the sectoral performance of the municipalities across a set of seven verticals or pillars – quality of life and services; economic ability; technology; urban planning; governance; sustainability and climate resilience and citizen perception, which include 37 sectors and categories and 138 indicators.

The Municipal Development Index would act as a guide to evidence-based policy making, catalyse action to achieve broader developmental outcomes including the Sustainable Development Goals, assess and compare the outcomes achieved by municipal bodies, give citizens an insight into the functioning of local bodies and hold them accountable.

Based on the performance of these municipalities, as per the benchmarks prescribed under J&K MDI-2022, while best performing municipalities would be encouraged and incentivised though additional grant-in-aid in the form of Urban Reform Incentive Fund (URIF), special funds would also be provided for building capacities and covering gaps in these Municipalities.

“It is our responsibility and resolve to ensure that the aspirations of the people get fulfilled,” the LG said.

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