NABARD vital driver for boosting rural, agro-economy: Govt
Srinagar, July 12: J&K's Agriculture Department and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) have jointly planned a development package of Rs 25,991 crore to improve agricultural inputs, farmers' income through easy availability of credit besides technical up-gradation of Agriculture, horticulture and allied sectors.
The comprehensive plan is in line with the vision of the Prime Minister to double the farmers' income. J&K Govt is focusing on the development of rural economy for unlocking its full potential by filling the gaps vis-à-vis infrastructure, human resources and financing.
In J&K, NABARD has been a vital driver of the rural economy by meeting basic needs of infrastructure under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund, under which 4178 projects have been completed in the last 26 years at a cost of Rs 8457 crores, focusing mainly on irrigation and rural connectivity.
Notably, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has Rs. 34,829 crore Potential Linked Credit Plan for J&K UT which focuses on meeting the aspirations of rural population, bridging gaps in rural infrastructure and strengthening the co-operative credit systems to transform the agricultural economy.
The credit plan was announced at the ‘UT Credit and Development Seminar' organized by NABARD in Jammu for presenting the ‘UT Focus Paper 2022-23 for J&K, covering physical and financial potential under Agriculture & allied activities and other priority sectors including the off-farm activities in the UT.
In J&K, 36 Farmer Producer Organizations have been formed by NABARD, benefiting around 6,000 farmers. 26 more such organizations are being formed in this financial year, advancing the development of a strong base of modern agriculture and horticulture in UT.
Jammu and Kashmir has achieved top position in the entire country with a yield of 70 quintals per hectare of paddy besides achieving saturation in Kissan Credit Cards, Soil Health Cards and PM Kisan Samman Nidhi.
"Among all State/UTs, Jammu and Kashmir is 3rd rank holder in monthly income to agriculture households and 5th best performing UT in Agriculture & allied sectors", official data reveals.
The J&K government is working on a vision to look beyond subsistence agriculture by leveraging special agro-climatic conditions of the Union Territory for securing high returns to the farmers from transformed and modern sustainable and inclusive agriculture interventions. The mission of J&K Administration is to secure a complete transformation in the lives and outlook of the farmers of the UT from subsistence to modern, vibrant and high-return agriculture by the end of year 2023.
The government has also started several marketing initiatives to make the agricultural sector of J&K more viable. G.I. tagging for Saffron and Guchi (Wild Mushroom) of Doda has given remarkable strides to acclaimed Saffron of Kashmir in international market as well to the Guchi Mushroom.
Moreover organic Certification of Basmati Rice of R.S. Pura has also increased the marketing value for the rice.
To give more boost to the Agriculture sector here, the Agriculture department has also decided to collaborate with Amazon Fresh which has evinced a keen interest in the Fruit and Vegetable assortment available in Jammu with the motive of expanding network in North India. Jammu is also going to have a collection/procurement centre next year.
To provide a market for Kashmiri Saffron, National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) has decided that it will sell Kashmiri Saffron at all its outlets across the country, thereby providing another option to the farmers to sell their produce at attractive prices.