Srinagar: Taking a giant leap in the agriculture sector and adopting environment-friendly farmingpractices across the UT, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today flagged off the first consignment ofIFFCO’s Nano Urea (Liquid) from Kalol area of Gujarat through virtual mode.
“I express my heartfelt gratitude to the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi for encouraging theagricultural scientists and farmers, for the last many years, to reduce the use of urea. His vision hasmade this into a reality, which will bring reforms in the agriculture sector of J&K”, added the LtGovernor.
Thehistoric initiative aimed at saving the environment and keeping the soil of the agricultural fields fertile.
It was informed that 15,000 bottles of Liquid Nano Urea are leaving Kalol, Gujarat today for the farmersof Jammu and Kashmir.
Out of this, 7500 bottles will be distributed to the Jammu division and 7500 tothe farmers of Kashmir division.
The total consignment of liquid nano-urea will be equivalent to 675metric tonnes of conventional urea.
While highlighting the immense scope of growth in agriculture sector of the UT and the impact the newinitiative will bring in the sector, the Lt Governor observed that with the introduction of Liquid NanoUrea to the farmers of the UT, J&K’s agriculture sector can contribute to Prime Minister's campaign forself-reliant India.
70 percent population of the UT is dependent on agriculture.
This liquid Nano Urea can bringabout a new revolution in the farming sector of J&K, said the Lt Governor.
Now, only half a litre of liquid nano urea will replace one sack of manure.
Thereare many such hill farms in many districts, where farmers have to travel several kilometers to reach theiragriculture fields. Instead of carrying a bag of urea, now the farmers have to carry only half a litre bottleof urea, he added.
The excessive use of urea is resulting in making the soil barren across the country.
It has not onlyaffected the nitrogen cycle but also harms the environment and people's health.
Initially, many farmersmay get benefitted due to its excessive use, but later the same urea destroys the fertility of the fields,the Lt Governor said.
On the financial aspects of the new initiative, the Lt Governor observed that the Liquid Nano Urea willsubsequently bring down the cost of farming.
Cost of one bottle of this urea is 10% less than that of a 45kg of urea bag. Since, Nano Urea does not require subsidy, the government will save about Rs 27,000crore, besides providing a benefit of Rs 28,000 crore to the farmers by reducing their cost on agriculture,he added.
In 2017, the Prime Minister had said that when India celebrates 75th anniversary of Independence in2022, we should reduce the use of urea by half.
"I sincerely hope and believe that the way IFFCO isworking on the call of the Prime Minister, soon we will be successful in realizing his vision," said the Lt Governor.
On the occasion, the Lt Governor also added that the J&K Government is intended to increase theproductivity of Basmati agricultural land.
"In current financial year, we have decided that at least 7.5 lakh farmers would be provided good seedsat a cost of Rs 16 crore. In this entire campaign, farmers are being encouraged to switch over to organicfarming," he added.
The UT Government is putting in its best efforts to provide all facilities like harvesting, management andprocessing to the farmers of Jammu & Kashmir and providing linkages for their products to national andinternational markets.
Highlighting various initiatives undertaken by the J&K Government to bring reforms in the horticulturesector, the Lt Governor observed that the UT administration has signed an MoU with NAFED throughwhich 5500 hectares of high density Apple, Walnut, Mango, and Litchi would be cultivated in the nextfive years.
For this, an investment of about Rs 1700 crore will be made in the Union Territory.
Three coldstorage clusters will also be set up at Kathua, North Kashmir and South Kashmir with an investment of Rs500 crore which will provide more convenience to the farmers.
GI tagging of regional products is being done to further empower the farmers through effectivemarketing of their products.
The quality of many of our products like Saffron, Walnut, Cherry,Strawberry, Plum, Almond, and Apricot is no less than those produced in other countries. Kashmir'sSaffron was launched in Dubai in December after GI tagging.
The world market was dominated by theIranian Saffron, but now Kashmir’s Saffron is making its mark in the global market, remarked the Lt Governor.
Underscoring the reformative measures taken by the UT Government for the sustainable developmentof agriculture sector, the Lt Governor observed that the Government is focused on increasing theincome of farmers and providing employment to more and more youth in collaboration with theadministration and scientists, researchers related to agriculture.
To promote agriculture and horticulturein Jammu and Kashmir, this year's budget has been increased to Rs 2008 crore, which is Rs 695 croremore than the previous year, he added.
Agricultural Universities of Jammu and Kashmir are being roped in for promoting food processing unitsand agriculture related start-ups.
Despite the corona pandemic, scores of agricultural programmes havebeen organized in the past ten months. With the help of Krishi Vigyan Kendras, we are trying to reachevery farmer to ensure the use of innovation and technology in agriculture and allied sectors, said the Lt Governor.
In order to take technology to the fields of farmers, it has been decided that this year, we will providemachinery worth Rs 65 crore to the identified 30,000 farmers, besides providing modern irrigationfacilities to 25,000 farmers at a cost of Rs 91 crore.
Further, the state-of-the-art training will also be imparted to around 35,000 farmers to implement newexperiments in agriculture with the changing environment for which provision of Rs 26 crore has beenkept, he continued.
Speaking on the Skill development and Employment generation opportunities of rural youth, the LtGovernor said that this has been one of the focus areas of the J&K Government, for which specialprovision has been kept in this year's budget.
"We have made a provision of Rs 74 crore to increase thecapacity of cold storage as well as provide employment opportunities to our youth," he added.
The Lt Governor also stressed on maintaining FPOs in every district for continuous market linkage forbuilding a strong framework for farmer-industry connect, besides giving a determined push toagricultural entrepreneurship.
The Lt Governor, in the concluding remarks, extended his appreciation towards the entire team of IFFCOand invited them to establish Liquid Nano Urea plant in the UT of J&K.Meanwhile, Dr. U. S. Awasthi, Managing Director, IFFCO spoke about the objective behind developingNano Urea (Liquid).
It is indigenously developed after many years of dedicated and sincere research ofIFFCO’s Scientists and Engineers through a proprietary technology developed at Nano BiotechnologyResearch Centre, Kalol.
IFFCO Nano Urea Liquid has been found effective and efficient for plantnutrition. This increases the production with improved nutritional quality, besides having a positiveimpact on climate change and sustainable development, he added.Dileep Sanghani, Vice Chairman IFFCO presented the Vote of Thanks.
Jayesh Radadiya, Minister of Food, Civil Supply and Consumer Affairs, Gujarat & Director IFFCO;Members of Board of Directors, IFFCO; Navin Kumar Choudhary, Principal Secretary to the Government,Department of Agriculture Production & Farmers' welfare; Dr. J.P. Sharma, Vice-Chancellor, SKUAST,Jammu; Deepak G Inamdar, IFFCO Kalol Unit Head, and other senior officials attended the flagging offceremony, in person and through virtual mode.
Source: India Blooms