1. Agriculture World

“J&K has Enormous Potential to Become Agri-tech Startup Hub:" Jitendra Singh

Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology said that the Ministry of Ayush has agreed to provide Rs 200 crores for establishing a research center in Baderwah.

Shivam Dwivedi
Jitendra Singh, Minister of Earth Sciences of Government of India
Jitendra Singh, Minister of Earth Sciences of Government of India

"The bamboo grown in Jammu can be converted into several useful products, including incense sticks," said Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh. Fruits such as apples and strawberries can extend their shelf lives by establishing cold-chain facilities and implementing technological interventions."

Non-timber forest produce (NTFP) such as guchis, mushrooms, and other medicinal plants are plentiful in Jammu and Kashmir. Good quality honey and NTFPs can be found in the Chenab valley or the Pir Panjaal region (Rajouri, Poonch). These, however, are not adequately marketed.

The Union Minister stated that production, sale, and marketing must be done collaboratively, involving the state Forest Department and the J&K Medicinal Plants Board.

According to him, the Ministry of Ayush has agreed to provide Rs 200 crores for establishing a research centre in Baderwah.

The minister stated that government organisations working in various development sectors such as Rural Development, Agriculture, and Horticulture require constant support. He also stated that the Sher-e-Kashmir Agriculture University (SKUAST) Kashmir, Sheep Husbandry, and Animal Husbandry departments need to collaborate with the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI), which funds and supports agri-based start-ups in the Union Territory.

"This must be done while keeping local demands in the agriculture and horticulture sectors in mind, as well as training the youth who want to work in these sectors. NGOs must sensitise farmers to obtain crop insurance, which is critical in Jammu and Kashmir," he added.

"It is critical to involve prominent NGOs and research institutes working in the agricultural and allied sectors to support these government organisations. For proper market linkages, the authorities must implement a policy that guarantees the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of local agricultural and horticultural products such as apples, rajma, and walnuts. Farmers must be institutionalised through Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) and cooperatives," according to Singh.

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