Adv F Khan opens workshop on promoting organic farming at SKUAST, Jammu
Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor, Farooq Khan today opened a one-day workshop on “Promoting Organic Agriculture in Jammu and Kashmir: Exploring the Perspectives and Harnessing the Potential” hosted by the University of Science and Agricultural Technologies of Sher-e-Kashmir (SKUAST) Jammu in collaboration with the Directorate of Agricultural Production and Farmer Welfare.
The Vice-Chancellor, SKUAST-J and workshop sponsor, Prof. JP Sharma, was the guest of honor on the occasion.
The objective of the workshop was to develop a framework for the promotion of organic farming in the territory of the Union.
Speaking on the occasion, Farooq Khan urged scientists and department officials to develop a mechanism to instill organic cultivation within the farming community. He said that marketing and packaging as well as certification of organic products should be undertaken to facilitate the promotion of organic farming. In this regard, J&K’s Horticulture Planning and Marketing department is considering opening model showrooms in metropolitan cities. He underlined the role of three components of the agricultural system, namely the university, the department and the farmers.
The adviser asked scientists at the university to prioritize research based on farmers’ problems in order to raise their standard of living.
Professor Sharma commended the advisor for his active role and support for the growth and development of the university. He informed him that the university is working in close coordination with the department to map the different districts in order to revise the organic map of the Union territory. He insisted on promoting the slurry obtained from Bio Gas Plant as a fertilizer.
Prof Sharma said that although we are a food surplus country, there is an urgent need to focus on nutrition security as a large part of the population is undernourished. He said FPOs will play a major role in doubling farmers’ incomes, as branding, marketing and promotion will also be part of their business.
The vice-chancellor said the recommendations of this workshop will not just be an academic exercise but a plan to be implemented on the ground.
Agriculture Director Jammu KK Sharma informed that the organic policy for J&K has already been drafted and will be rolled out soon. He hopes this workshop will be useful for farmers and entrepreneurs to learn organic farming standards from experts and scientists across the country.
Bharat Bhushan Tyagi, Padma Shri laureate, also spoke on the occasion and discussed the opportunities of organic farming and identified issues regarding FPOs. He expressed optimism that this workshop would prove to be a perfect platform to learn and earn money through organic farming.
During the technical session of the workshop, deliberations took place on practical experiences, certification and scientific interventions in organic agriculture.
Expert lectures were given by Sunil Kandela, Vinod Mehta, Dr Jag Paul Sharma and Dr JP Saini.
Among others, the workshop was attended by Dr SK Gupta, Director of Extension, Dr SEH Rizvi, Director of Education and Dean, FBSc., Rajesh Talwar, Controller and DPM, Dr Bikram Singh, Dean of Faculty of Agriculture, Dr MS Bhadwal, Dean, FVSc., RP Gupta, scientists, professors, director (s) of the development department, district officers, national and local farmers as well as budding entrepreneurs in organic farming.