The Jammu and Kashmir government has initiated a programme to support its farmers and promote sustainable agriculture in the union territory, an official said on Wednesday.
The government has earmarked an amount of Rs 84 crore to support the programmes over the next five years. The initiative is part of a larger effort to promote sustainable agriculture, commercial agriculture and healthy food production.
“The project envisages the creation of over 12,600 jobs and 300 enterprises in the organic agri-sector,” a statement noted.
“The programme includes a range of interventions to support organic farming such as expanding organic cultivation in a cluster approach, producing and recycling bio-inputs, facilitating certification and marketing and providing training and capacity building for farmers,” it said.
The project aims to create six to seven organic clusters per district, covering a total of 2,000 hectares of land. It also aims to convert another 2,000 hectares into organic production, including niche crops and default organic areas.
The programme will also provide training to 10,000 farmer families in organic farming and establish 200 commercial and 3,000 low-cost vermicompost units and 100 integrated organic farming system units.
Besides, two bio-input production units will also be set up to supply organic inputs for the production clusters.
“The project will have a number of positive outcomes which will further fuel growth in organic production within J&K, including development of trained manpower and a package of practices suited to the region, dedicated bio-input production facilities, certification and branding facilities and an organic value/market chain,” Atal Dulloo, Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture Production Department said.
“Jammu and Kashmir has a number of remote areas where very little chemical use is being undertaken in agriculture. Moreover, the farmers in these areas are usually marginal and economically weak. By promoting organic cultivation, the livelihood of these farmers will be secured and their returns significantly improved.
“Alternate agriculture system for sustainability is one among the 29 projects which were approved by the Jammu and Kashmir administration after being recommended by the UT-level Apex Committee for holistic development of agriculture and allied sectors,” he added.