Jammu: Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology – Jammu (SKUAST-Jammu) celebrated its 23rd Foundation Day at Baba Jitto Auditorium, Chatha. Sham Lal Sharma, Ex-minister was chief guest on the occasion and Prof. J. P. Sharma, Vice-Chancellor of the university presided over the function.
The function was organized both in offline and virtual mode. The programme started with the lighting of the traditional lamp by the dignitaries present on the dies.
In his address, Sham Lal Sharma appreciated the efforts of Prof. Sharma in giving the right impetus to the university. He advocated for a multidimensional approach for promoting sustainable agriculture and stressed upon full tapping of horticulture, floriculture, apiculture and olericulture potential.
The Vice Chancellor, in his Presidential address, lauded the efforts of University employees, students and farmers for their contribution in the growth and development of SKUAST-Jammu. He said that SKUAST-Jammu has made rapid strides since its birth in 1999. Prof. Sharma said that our focus is on specialty agriculture. He advocated for the promotion of location specific commodities. He reiterated that J&K has immense scope and potential in poultry, dairying and organic farming. He informed that J& K has a diverse climate ranging from subtropical to temperate. Hence, cultivation of niche crops such as Kala Jeera, Saffron and mushroom should be promoted as these crops are in high demand in the country and abroad and also fetch good returns to the farmers. The Vice Chancellor also stressed on increasing the area, production and productivity of oilseeds in UT.
Prof. Sharma informed that agrivarsity has released 12 varieties of different cereals, oilseeds, pulses, fruits and vegetables, developed Integrated Farming System Model and established Agri-business Incubation center to promote Startups in agriculture and allied vocations. Prof. Sharma also highlighted the achievements attained by the university in teaching, research and extension and said that the goal of the university is to ensure livelihood security of the farmers by increasing the area, production and profitability on an ecological and economically sustainable basis.
The foundation day lecture on ‘Specialty agriculture for enhancing income and livelihood options” was delivered through online mode by Dr. Sanjay Kumar, Director, CSIR – IHBT, Palampur. Diwali Mela was also organized where stalls of various products were displayed by the University students, FPO farmers and agri-start ups.
Earlier, Dr. Jag Paul Sharma, Director Research and Registrar, SKUAST-Jammu welcomed the dignitaries and guests and also briefed the audience about SKUAST-Jammu. He informed about the reason for the establishment of SKUAST-Jammu after bifurcation from erstwhile SKUAST. A Friendship Cricket Match was also played between Chatha and R.S. Pura Campuses of SKUAST-Jammu. A Cultural Programme was also presented in which students, faculty members and wards of faculty members participated enthusiastically. Besides, scientists, students and farmers were also felicitated with awards for their outstanding contribution. The University also accorded a warm farewell to the superannuating employees viz., Asha Tukra,. Munshi Ram, Sham Lal, Lal Hussain and Tilak Raj at an impressive function held at Baba Jitto Auditorium.
Statutory officers of the University, Head of the Divisions, scientists, non-teaching staff members and students were present during the occasion. Vote of thanks was presented by Dr S. E. H. Rizvi, Director Education while the proceedings were conducted by Dr. Vinod Gupta and Dr. Vivak M Arya.