Jammu: Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha today called upon all stakeholders for doubling the efforts for branding and marketing of the local Agri-products, besides seamless extension of technology from Lab to Field for bringing long term and revolutionary changes in the agriculture sector.
Speaking during the inaugural ceremony of five days long Kisan Mela, the Lt Governor suggested to focus on strategic and professional approach for Branding and Marketing of local products to increase the income of farming community, and stressed for understanding the importance of Kisan Mela which can bring change in the lives of farmers.
The Lt Governor observed that J&K farmers have huge potential for becoming Agri-entrepreneurs.
The theme of this Kisan Mela – “Self-sufficient Agriculture, Self-Reliant India” is not merely a slogan, it’s a vision given by the Hon’ble Prime Minister for taking a leap towards the transfer of new knowledge, and making farmers of the country AatmaNirbhar. AatmaNirbhar Krishi and AatmaNirbhar Kissan are the bedrock of AatmaNirbhar Bharat said the Lt Governor.
The Lt Governor congratulated the University for organizing the Kisan Mela with a focus on demonstration of the innovative technologies developed by the university to improve agricultural productivity and sustainability in the Jammu region.
The event is bringing a large number of farmers, farm women, livestock owners, Agri-preneurs, industrialists, rural youth, researchers, technocrats, extensions workers, students, and policymakers at one platform, and giving farmers direct access to the latest innovative ideas available in the field of agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, and other allied sectors, he added
The Lt Governor observed that the Kisan Mela would provide an exclusive platform to farmers to exchange ideas and gain new knowledge in farming. He added perceptiveness as a fifth “P” of marketing in addition to already existing four P’s viz Product, Price, Place, and Promotion for aggressive marketing of agri-products.
Emphasizing on increasing productivity, making agriculture sustainable and developing Agri-preneurs, the Lt Governor observed that in the last 8 month, reformative measures are being taken for the growth of agriculture and horticulture sectors.
The Lt Governor called for connecting farmers with buyers on the lines of Buyer-Sellers meet, besides taking Krishi Mela to Panchayat and Block level. He emphasized on establishing Panchayat level innovative model collection centres and promoting the markets of the villages and group marketing with the help of Krishi Vigyan Kendras and Agriculture Universities. He also stressed for promotion of success stories of progressive and award-winning farmers on all the platforms.
Laying special emphasis on realizing the true growth potential of the local agriculture and horticulture produce, the Lt Governor called for better branding and nation-wide market availability to the local products which will ultimately benefit the farmers and Self-Help groups.
The Lt Governor made valuable suggestions for tapping the immense growth potential of agriculture and allied sector products of J&K. He stressed on the need to provide hand holding to the Self-Help Groups and enhancing their knowledge in branding and marketing of the products.
The Lt Governor further suggested for constituting Marketing Experts team by Agricultural Universities and Krishi Vigyan Kendra so that the desired focus can be given to the marketing component.
Focus must be given to various elements of Marketing like branding, packaging, distribution, market channel, and self-promotion, he added.
Highlighting the great potential of the Horticulture sector in the UT, the Lt Governor called for taking the added advantage of the recall value of the horticulture products of J&K and making most of it.
Assuring full support of J&K Government to all the stakeholders involved in agriculture and allied sectors, the Lt Governor observed that the GI Tagging and organic certification has been done to promote the products of J&K at the global market.
Addressing the transportation issue, the Lt Governor observed that the work on dry port facility in Samba has already begun and the demand for augmenting Air Cargo services in J&K was put forth during the NITI Aayog meeting held recently, to strengthen the distribution channel.
While appreciating the efforts being made by Universities towards promoting Agri- technological innovations, the Lt Governor stressed on the need for registration of innovations and asked SKUAST to make a move ahead in this direction and implement a mechanism on the lines of agriculture universities of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. “Agricultural Universities of J&K need to contribute to the Rural and National level Innovation Registry. File patents for actionable innovations”, the Lt Governor added.
The Lt Governor also stressed that the University should start Horticulture, Dairy Farming, and Agriculture Engineering departments at the earliest.
Terming Agro-Processing Centre scheme of the Central Government as a game-changer, the Lt Governor observed that the implementation of this scheme will give new dimension to the agro-processing sector in the UT. J&K has an abundance of raw material. In last 5 years, food processing centers increased by 10%. We need to tap this potential and create new markets which will facilitate the farmers, said the Lt Governor.
The Lt Governor also made a special mention of the progressive farmer, Vimla Devi from Reasi. He called upon the scientists of the University for preparing District-wise data of all such Agri-preneurs so as to provide requisite technical handholding to them to increase farm production and in turn their incomes.
The 5-Day long Kissan Mela is the exhibition of proven and advanced techniques to motivate farmers for its adoption and realizing the objectives of AatmaNirbhar Bharat. Latest agri-start-ups, kisan ghosties, sale of quality seed and planting material, live demonstration of improved varieties, flower show, vegetable show, fruit show, passport mela, animal & dog show, agri-tourism, industrial meet, rural sports, and farmers-scientist interaction, presentation by innovative farmers will be held during the five-day mela.
Sh. Farooq Khan, Advisor to the Lt Governor expressed his happiness over the implementation of various proposals discussed with Prof. J. P. Sharma. He stressed on the need to impart practical knowledge to the students so that they could connect themselves with the various aspects of agriculture and develop themselves from ’Job Seekers’ to ‘Job Providers’.
Sh. Navin Kumar Choudhary, Principal Secretary, Department of Agriculture Production & Farmers’ welfare and Horticulture also spoke on the occasion. He said that today’s Kisan Mela is a farmer’s outreach programme and an innovative one. While expressing satisfaction for working of University, he suggested to improve course curriculum and make it practice-oriented. He said that Department of Agriculture and other line departments along with university are working in tandem to reach the farming community with all the facilities at doorstep.
In his welcome address, Prof. J.P. Sharma, Vice-Chancellor, SKUAST-Jammu, and Chief Patron of the Kisan Mela, highlighted the activities of the University and said that 5 days Kisan Mela is the first of its kind in the history of SKUAST-Jammu which is also available on virtual platform. He also expressed gratitude towards the Lt Governor for making several interventions for the advancement and development of the University. Prof. Sharma said that University is working on the replication of Innovation of farmers and also strengthening facilities like conversion of Herbal Garden into wellness centre, agro-tourism, branding and marketing of local products for which Industrial meet is also scheduled for 18.03.2021.
The Kisan Mela is being organized in collaboration with Departments of Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Floriculture, Sheep Husbandry, Sericulture, Fisheries, Command Area Development, National Horticulture Board, JKEDI, ICCR etc.
Meanwhile, five publications for farmer’s local languages were released by the dignitaries on the occasion.
Earlier, the Lt Governor inaugurated livestock show, flower show and inspected exhibitions and stalls demonstrated by the university, line departments, farmers, start-ups, etc.
Prof. Bechan Lal, Vice-Chancellor, Cluster University of Jammu; Sanjeev Verma, Divisional Commissioner Jammu; Dr. Rajbir Singh. Director, Agricultural Technology Application Research Institute (ATARI); Regional Passport Officer, Director(s) of line departments, Secretary, J&K Kissan Board, Dr. S.K.Gupta, Director Extension, Dr. Jag Paul Sharma, Director Research cum Registrar and Other Statutory Officers of the University, Faculty members of SKUAST-J, besides scores of farmers, were present on the occasion.