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JAMMU: Several members took part in the Discussion on Demands of Grants for Agriculture Production Department in Legislative Assembly today and gave their valuable suggestions for the development of the department. Initiating the discussion, legislator Mian Altaf Ahmad asked the government to distribute high quality seeds among farmers. He urged the government to ask agriculture universities to conduct research     to find remedies for crop diseases.


He urged for judicious use of funds earmarked under various schemes in Ganderbal district and creation of mass awareness about the schemes meant for the welfare of farmers. He stressed on taking reformative initiatives in agriculture sector. Mohammad Khalil Bandh, while underscoring the importance of agriculture sector in the state said that the modern cultivation techniques have improved the produce in the state.


He urged for putting ban on the conversion of agriculture land for horticulture-related activities. He also urged the government to provide modern agricultural tools to the farmers on subsidized rates. Sukhnandan Choudhary urged the government to provide improved high yielding seeds at subsidized rates to the farmers to improve   yield. He also appealed the government to create awareness among the farmers about modern farming techniques for better production.


He said government needs to take steps to curb sale of sub standard sprays and fertilizers in the market and said these have taken huge toll on the production and has destroyed crops of farmers. Aijaz Ahmad Khan suggested for effective implementation of Centrally Sponsored and State sector schemes aimed at to improve the economy of farmers. He called for a change of policy and fixing the priorities in the sector with special focus on the promotion of organic farming and strengthening of field staff.


He urged for pressing-in adequate number of Mobile Soil Health Testing Vans and laying special focus on better marketing and seed production. He called for effective implementation of PMKSY and Saffron Mission on the ground.  He urged for reviving ‘Grow More Food’ scheme introduced by former Chief Minister late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.


Hakeem Mohammad Yasin said development of agriculture guarantees development of the rural economy as the majority of the rural population is dependent on this sector. He urged the government to adopt long-term plans to increase agriculture production to minimize imports in future. He urged the government to take action against the illegal brick kilns operational in the state to stop further damage to the agriculture land. He urged the government to come up with an effective land use policy.


 He also urged to extend irrigation facilities to barren land to make it cultivable.  Sheikh Ishfaq Jabbar underscored the need for conducting frequent farmer study tours, laying special focus on Command Area Development schemes and providing liberal funding under the sector for execution of various developmental works in his Constituency. He demanded for enhancing ST/SC Plan funds and also stressed for streamlining Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) at Ganderbal.


Shah Mohammad Tantray urged upon various departments to work in tandem to ensure the benefits of various schemes reach to the farmers. He said that the experts should go to the far-flung areas and hold awareness camps for farmers demonstrate new cultivation techniques and distribute improved high yield seeds to the farmers. Bashir Ahmad Dar urged for introducing new initiatives and imparting training to the farmers about latest and scientific cultivation techniques.


Rajeev Jasrotia stressed on liberal funding for the sector. He hailed Centre and State governments for introducing various farmer welfare schemes including Soil Health Testing and PMKSY and underscored the need for effective implementation on the ground. He also called for conducting mass awareness programmes, developing Agriculture Model Villages and promotion of Mushroom Cultivation across the state. He also demanded the establishment of permanent Mandis in his Constituency.


Vikar Rasool Wani expressed concern over what he said shrinking of agriculture land in both urban and rural areas and asked the government to put a ban on conversion of agriculture land for other purposes. He called for formulation of comprehensive policy with regard to save agriculture land. He stressed on the establishment of Saffron and Rajmash Village and revival of Silk Unit in his Constituency. He also suggested for sanctioning of loans under agriculture sector for educated unemployed youth.


Mohammad Akbar Lone underscored the need for effective implementation of the agriculture sector schemes on the ground. He called for the revival of sericulture - a traditional and once thriving activity in the state. He stressed on close coordination among agriculture, animal and sheep husbandry departments for effective implementation of schemes. Lone also called for the revival of Command Area Development (CAD) Department and suggested for posting of CAD Officers at the district level.


Raja Manzoor hoped that the government will take some revolutionary steps to improve agriculture production. He said the ban on construction of houses on Agriculture land should be strictly implemented. He also urged the government to provide agricultural tools, improved high yielding seeds and other related inputs on highly subsidized rates to the farmers and upgrading of irrigation facilities in rural areas. He also sought expert advice by agriculture scientists to farmers about the cultivation of most suitable and gainful crops in particular areas.

Pawan Gupta called for strengthening irrigation network saying that it is the backbone of the agriculture. He said only 5 percent of the land in his constituency has irrigation facility. He urged upon the government to establish vermicompost units and introduce Mushroom cultivation in Udhampur for which the area has highly suitable climate. He also appealed government to establish a vegetable market, revive the sericulture sector and establish a Silk farm in Udhampur.


 Dr Krishan Lal urged the government to upgrade irrigation facilities in his constituency by way of constructing bore wells and other techniques. He also urged the government to increase the subsidy on agriculture inputs, establish more Mandis and cold storages in the areas with high agriculture yield. He also asked the government to encourage organic farming as the use of fertilizers has taken a high toll on the health of the people. He said modern societies all ready switching over to organic farming.

Asgar Ali Karbalai informed that Kargil has become self-sufficient in vegetable production and urged the government to encourage the locals by providing more incentives to the farmers. He said the Women Self Help Groups take land on rent in Kargil and generate income of Rs one lakh from one Kanal of land, achieving the distinction of meeting the target of one lakh per Kanal income idea. He urged the government to provide attractive incentives to these SHGs and release of central share for Command Area Development works in the district.   

He also urged the government to establish a Krish Vigyan Kendra in Kargil and increase the agriculture fund share in the district plan.

Mubarak Gul called for devising a strategy to preserve vegetables to increase their lifespan. He said most of the vegetables including tomatoes perish in absence of cold storage. He said the government needs to work out a plan to build cold storages to benefit the farmers.  He also urged upon the government to hold awareness camps in his constituency as it is one of the largest producers of vegetables in Srinagar district.


Abdul Rahim Rather praised the government for assisting the farmers by providing incentives and subsidies. He urged the government to expand existing Potato farm in Kokernag by including 1200 Kanals land available around it. He also urged the government to assist and persuade the farmers to opt for rotation of crops as per the feasibility of the area to increase their income.

 He also asked the government to introduce more cash crops including lavender and flowers in the areas fit for its production.  He also urged the government to establish Agriculture Sub Division in Kokernag.  Ravinder Raina, while terming agriculture as the major contributor in the State’s GDP, urged the government to form Village Farmer Committees on the pattern of Village Education committees to monitor the issues related to agriculture in particular areas. He said the move would ensure that the benefits of schemes meant for farmers reach to the deserving lot.


 He complained about the presence of several illegal brick kilns operational in his constituency. He said the government should ensure that kilns are not established near fertile land.  He also appealed government to focus on Sericulture sector in his constituency as the area has huge potential.   G M Saroori expressed concern over, what he said 70 percent curtailment of funds by the centre in the irrigation sector. He said the move has taken a heavy toll and affected agriculture production. He urged the government to ensure the release of more funds from centre to ensure better irrigation facilities in the state especially in Kandi areas.


 He further urged the government to incentivise cocoon production by providing marketing facility.   He also appealed government to impart training to the farmers of his constituency about the use of modern cultivation techniques for better yield. He also appealed to include Kishtwar in Saffron mission as the area produces a good quality of saffron. Altaf Ahmad Wani urged the government to lift the ban on conversion of agriculture land for other use as returns for agriculture are extremely low for farmers at the moment. He called for a special policy tailored to remove the hindrances and meet requirements of the state agriculture.


He also expressed concern over less funding provided to the department. He called for making renewed efforts to create awareness among farmers regarding new agro-technologies in sericulture and Apiculture and judicious use of irrigation source. The legislator also called for the implementation of government order on 50 percent Waiver of KCC loan in letter and spirit.

 Chowdhary Qamar Hussain urged the government to provide liberal funding for agriculture and other allied sectors adding that it is getting meagre funding under district plan.   He also urged the government to increase subsidies for the farmers and provide them loans on nominal interest rates.  

 Abdul Majid Larmi urged the government to remove the encroachments on agricultural land in Homeshalibug. He said the area is considered Rice Bowl of Kashmir but owing to encroachments, the yield has come down. He also urged the government to take action to stop constructions on agriculture land and provide more incentives to the farmers so that they continue to cultivate crops. He said the farmers will not switch over to horticulture if given adequate incentives to improve agriculture production. He said Kulgam district can cater the demand of rice for the whole state if government focus on it.   

The legislator said there are complaints that the fertilizers and pesticides reach the farmers very late and urged the government to take serious note of the issue.  Gulzar Ahmad Wani urged the government to assist the farmers in adoption of modern techniques by holding awareness camps and organising farmers’ tours of far-flung areas. He also urged the government to take steps to evict encroachment from the agricultural land in the state.