Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh says, for the first time, Modi Government is promoting Agri Start-ups for youth in Jammu and Kashmir

Addresses an interactive meet of Agricultural Start-ups and farmers, organised jointly by CSIR and Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology (SKUAST) in Srinagar

New Delhi: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today accused the earlier governments of deliberately discouraging Start-Ups in Jammu & Kashmir, including in the Kashmir valley, so that the youth could remain perpetually dependent on salaried government jobs and continue hanging around the political masters of the day. As a result, the region’s immense potential for entrepreneurship and self-livelihood remained unexplored, he said.

Addressing an interactive meet of Agricultural Start-Ups and farmers, organised jointly by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology (SKUAST), the Minster said, this is for the first time in the last few years that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, concerted and technology based effort has been made to promote the agriculture sector for young Start-ups in the region. Whereas, in the past, he said, the farmers and the agriculturists would largely depend upon the mood of climate and vagaries of nature for cultivation, in the last few years, new areas like, for example, Lavender cultivation have been explored at a large scale both in the Kashmir valley in the areas around Gulmarg etc. as well as in the Jammu region in districts Doda and Reasi.

The Minister said that no government in any country of the world can ensure 100% salaried government jobs to every youth, but a responsible government always plans to promote means of livelihood and this is precisely what the Modi government is trying to seek. He said, a sustained awareness campaign needs to be launched among the youth and their parents to educate them that there are much more lucrative emoluments available through these self-livelihood and new Start-ups options and, therefore, they should not be led to waste their time and energy in protesting for government salaried jobs.

Reiterating that the farming of today is no longer the farming of yesterday, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the farmer today is actually an agricultural technocrat or an agricultural Start-up who has the option of making handsome profits using the new technology and provisions introduced in the agricultural sector by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said, the Government of India through CSIR is providing all the relevant financial and technical support for new modes of cultivation, multiple integrated farming and also hybrid farming which have the capacity to double farmers’ income by 2022, as envisaged by the Prime Minister.

On the occasion, Dr Jitendra Singh also distributed Farming Kits to agriculturists drawn from all the ten districts of Kashmir valley. An MoU of collaboration was also signed between CSIR and SKUAST.

Director General CSIR Dr Shekhar Mande, Vice Chancellor SKUAST Professor J P Sharma and Director IIIM Dr Reddy also joined the Minister during the interactive session with the farmers.

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