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Trout Fish Farming along Indo-Pak Border in Smart Tribal Farming Project

Tribal Farming Pilot Project, an initiative to provide the healthiest food to the world, has been started in Jammu and Kashmir under the leadership and guidance of Prof. Moni Madaswamy, Former Director of NIC, the Professor Emeritus, and Chairman CAIRS & CADMS, Shobhit Institute of Engineering and Technology, Meerut.

Aysha Anam
Tribal Farming in Jammu and Kashmir. (Photo Courtesy: Unsplash)
Tribal Farming in Jammu and Kashmir. (Photo Courtesy: Unsplash)

Prof. Moni Madaswamy’s vision of smart tribal farming is all set to fly high. “With this programme, we want to pilot Indian tribal lands from Kashmir to Kanyakumari,” he said. And, the valley is bracing up itself to plow the best for the world. Kashmir is not just about saffron, dry fruits, and apples, there is a lot more to it that people have not explored yet. “Lot of importance has been given to apples and saffron but other people will take care of it. We will focus on things that have been hidden,” said Dr. Anil Kumar Srivastava, Ex-Director and Emeritus Scientist (Retd.), Vivekananda Parvatiya Krishi Anusandhan Sansthan, ICAR-VPKAS, Almora-263601, Uttrakhand.

Shobhit Institute of Engineering & Technology Meerut - Smart Tribal Farming Project (Pilot Project Initiative in UT of Jammu and Kashmir) webinar was attended by the stalwarts of the agricultural industry recently. How the pilot project will be implemented was discussed during the webinar.

Smart Tribal Farming Potential

A team of learned persons has been working day and night, identifying the hidden gems in the tribal regions of Jammu and Kashmir in order to revolutionize global food output. Dr. Uzma Bhashir, Senior Scientist, Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), suggested, “People from Ramban in J&K know how to make anardana”, a mouth refresher made with kernels of pomegranate.

The Krishi Vigyan Kendra of Srinagar has 15 villages that come under the belt of tribal communities. They are known for producing vegetables, milk, and practicing floriculture.

Tribal Farming in UT of J&K

  1. Balti
  2. Beda
  3. Bot, Bota
  4. Brokpa, Drokpa, Dard, Shin
  5. Changpa, Garran
  6. Mon
  7. Purigpa
  8. Gujjar
  9. Bakerwal
  10. Gaddi
  11. Sippi

Among other rare and precious finds, project leaders have also eyed bringing rudraksha made by the tribals. Another priceless catch announced during the Webinar was trout fish, which is found in Tangdhar, a village located in the Kupwara district of the valley. “We conducted two programmes at the border point of Pakistan, huge resources of water are available for fish cultivation. Through this project, we can channelize resources like trout fish to the entire country,” said Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Bhat, Professor-cum-Chief Scientist, Division of Genetics and Plant Breeding, SKUAST Kashmir, Srinagar. He also informed me that this can be a billion-dollar industry as trout is of the best fish available in the world.

Smart Tribal Farming Pilot Project

People who are working on the Smart Tribal Farming Pilot Project have a clear road mad with them. The panel mentioned that firstly, there will be a rigorous inspection of the tribes or the location from where these products will be supervised.

Tribal farmers will be taught how to grow effectively and efficiently keeping the natural touch intact.

“We prepare ourselves according to the climate. We harvest crops according to the climate change and breeding perspective. Tribal areas in Kashmir are of high altitudes, at least of 1850 meter of sea level. Fruits like cherry can be grown in high altitudes,” Prof Ashraf said.

The second important thing that the team will prioritise is marketing and storage.

We need to rectify high-value commodities, specific requirements, and suitability. Whatever we are undertaking is for the market.

“Also supply line - extending the availability - extending availability in the off-seasons need to be taken care of. We need to be mindful of the shelf-life of these products as well as the demand patterns of the market,” Anil Kumar said.

He also suggested investing in making zero-energy cool chambers.

Benefits of Smart Tribal Farming

There are countless benefits of Smart Tribal Farming recommended by the Dr. Ashok Dalwai Committee on Doubling Farmers’ Income by 2022 Report 2018, and with this project, employment for the youth is assured, especially for women farmers. Moreover, farmers will acquire hands-on experience in using technology for their crops.

Although tribes touching the border will be participating, the heads of this project assured that it is harmless and cannot cause any threat to the country. In fact, it will be an asset for India and Pakistan’s relationship building as we all are humans and who doesn’t love food?

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