Srinagar: Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh on Friday said that concerted and technology-based effort has been made to promote the agriculture sector for young start-ups in Jammu and Kashmir for the first time in the last few years under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Singh accused the earlier governments of deliberately discouraging start-ups in Jammu and Kashmir, including in the Kashmir valley, so that “the youth could remain perpetually dependent on salaried government jobs and continue hanging around the political masters of the day.” As a result, the region’s immense potential for entrepreneurship and self-livelihood remained unexplored, he said, according to a release by the Ministry of Science & Technology.
Addressing an interactive meet of Agricultural Start-Ups and farmers, organised jointly by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology (SKUAST), the minister said, “It is for the first time in the last few years that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, concerted and technology based effort has been made to promote the agriculture sector for young start-ups in the region.”
While in the past, he said, the farmers and the agriculturists would largely depend upon the climate and vagaries of nature for cultivation, in the last few years, new areas like, for example, Lavender cultivation have been explored at a large scale both in the Kashmir valley in the areas around Gulmarg as well as in the Jammu region in districts Doda and Reasi.
The minister said that no government in any country of the world can ensure 100 per cent salaried government jobs to every youth, but a responsible government always plans to promote means of livelihood and this is precisely what the Modi government is trying to do.
He said a sustained awareness campaign needs to be launched among the youth and their parents to educate them that there are much more lucrative emoluments available through these self-livelihood and new start-up options and, therefore, they should not be led to waste their time and energy in protesting for government salaried jobs.
Reiterating that the farming of today is no longer the farming of yesterday, Dr Singh said the farmer today is actually an agricultural technocrat or an agricultural start-up who has the option of making handsome profits using the new technology and provisions introduced in the agricultural sector by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He said that the Government of India through the CSIR is providing all the relevant financial and technical support for new modes of cultivation, multiple integrated farming and also hybrid farming which have the capacity to double farmers’ income by 2022, as envisaged by the Prime Minister.
On the occasion, Dr Jitendra Singh also distributed farming kits to agriculturists drawn from all the 10 districts of Kashmir valley. An MoU of collaboration was also signed between CSIR and SKUAST.
Director General CSIR Dr Shekhar Mande, Vice Chancellor SKUAST Professor J P Sharma and Director IIIM Dr Reddy also joined the Minister during the interactive session with the farmers.