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Agriculture bulwark of State’s economy: Omar
SRINAGAR, Sep 26: Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Wednesday equated agriculture development with prosperity adding that use of high yielding and disease resistant seed varieties have revolutionized farm production and productivity universally. He said that adoption of modern cultivation practices have given additional boost to agricultural activities ensuring increased and quality production.

Inspecting the functioning of Mountain Research Centre, Khudwani in South Kashmir this morning, the Chief Minister said that Kashmir Valley has traditionally remained paddy producing area and South Kashmir is denoted as ‘rice granary’ of Kashmir Division.

“Unfortunately diversion of paddy land for non-agricultural practices has hit the production of rice”, he said adding that saturation in the availability of land for cultivation has also impacted the production. However, he said that the silver line in the scenario is the shift taking place from traditional practices of cultivation to the use of modern technology and sowing of high yielding varieties of seeds assuring good production.

The Chief Minister said that the role of Research Centers like that of Khudwani in transferring technology from lab to land and evolving area feasible and improved seed varieties for cultivation, is of significant importance. He said that Khudwani Research Centre possesses a good record of developing new and befitting paddy varieties for Kashmir Valley which have shown substantial result on ground. He expressed the hope that the Research Centre would continue its efforts to produce best quality foundation and breeders seed for new generation paddy varieties and popularize the same amongst the farmers to help enhance its production.

Omar Abdullah said that his government has given fullest attention to the development of agriculture and allied sectors adding that farm activities have almost been kept out of the ambit of taxes to provide necessary succor to the farmers and encourage them venture in the agriculture related activities.

Describing agriculture bulwark of State’s economy, the Chief Minister said that this sector has greater potential for investors and it promises profitable and viable area for youth to go for MSME units and earn handsome livelihood not only for themselves but also for their brethren by providing them various jobs.

The Chief Minister said that his government would provide all necessary support to the Sher-i-Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) and other agencies including Agriculture Production Department to help develop agriculture and allied sectors holistically in the State.

The Chief Minister inspected foundation seed production plot of rice variety Jehlum, the most preferred variety developed by the Khudwani Research Centre and released for general cultivation up to an elevation of 1680 m amsl. This variety has the production of 6-6.5 tonnes per hectare. The variety covers almost 20 percent of rice grown area in the Valley.
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News Updated at : Thursday, September 27, 2012
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