JAMMU : Under Bharat ka Amrut Mahotsav, one day workshop regarding “Safe Use of Pesticides and adoption of Good Agricultural Practices for the production of Basmati” was organized at Conference Hall, SKUAST JAMMU, here today.

The programme was arranged by the Department of Agriculture Production and Farmers Welfare, Jammu in collaboration with the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Exports Development Authority (APEDA).

A Ceremonial Lamp was lit by Vice Chairman DDC, Jammu, Suraj Singh to mark the inauguration of the workshop. Director AP& FW, Jammu, K. K. Sharma; Director Research SKUAST-J, J.P. Sharma; Director Extension SKUAST-J, S.K. Gupta; Joint Director (Marketing, PHM, Infrastructure & FM) A.S.Reen; Joint Director Apiculture and Mushroom, Iqbal Singh and Principal Scientist Basmati Export Development Foundation, APEDA, Dr Ritesh Sharma were also present.

In his inaugural address, the Vice Chairman DDC, Jammu, Suraj Singh called for promoting the use of organic manure for production of high quality Basmati to match the export parameters. He urged the farmers to take full advantage of such workshops to learn and adopt the useful farming techniques for enhanced economic Returns.

The Director Agriculture underlined the need of eliminating the constraints in production of quality basmati production and stressed on the production of disease free basmati seed as seed is the foundation of better basmati produce. He revealed that the process has already been initiated for getting exclusive GI tagging for Basmati.

The Director Research stressed that organic field/soil is must for organic basmati and advocated use of Zinc for getting good aroma from basmati.

Dr. Ritesh Sharma of BEDF Modipuram, deliberated in detail on good agricultural practices for production of international standard Basmati. He informed that India is number one exporter of Basmati in the world and Jammu Basmati is most preferred one and there is great scope of further expanding the scale of exports by producing pesticides residual free basmati.

Earlier, In his welcome address A. S. Reen highlighted the need of organizing the basmati growers in FPO for getting enhanced benefit in terms of input procurement, middleman elimination, certification, branding and marketing of Basmati paddy.

Besides others basmati growers from Jammu and Samba district, DDC members, BDC members, representatives of Basmati exporters, FPO, NGOs, and officers/staff of Agriculture department attended the workshop,

The technical session was conducted by Dr Puneet Chowdhury, Head KVK R. S.Pura, Dr Sunil Kumar Misra, Scientist Agronomy, Dr Amresh Vaid, HoD Plant Pathology SKUAST J, Dr R. K. Gupta, HoD, Entomology SKUAST J, covering a wide variety of topics including disease and insect pest management in basmati, IPM strategy in crop production and formation of Farmer Producer Organizations. J&K Kisan Advisory Board member, S. Tejinder Singh also spoke on the occasion and appreciated the efforts of the Agriculture Department for organizing the much needed workshop. The Department of Agriculture also conducted Plant Clinic on the occasion for on spot diagnosis and recommendations of plant diseases/pests.

A Question and Answer session was also held on the occasion in which queries raised by the farmers were satisfactorily answered by the experts. Chief Agriculture officer, Jammu, Arvind Baru presented the vote of thanks.