Kathua: To provide diverse earning avenues to the farmers in line with the National resolve of doubling their income, District Administration Saturday started sowing of castor crop here in village Logate.
As a maiden initiative in Jammu and Kashmir, Castor crop is being adopted as an alternate crop in Kharif season through the Agriculture Department in Kathua district.
While kick-starting the sowing activity, the DC said the initiative was an attempt to provide options to the farmers who can adopt alternates which are scientifically proven and suitable to the local agro-climatic conditions. “With various by-products in the form of castor seeds, leaves and stems used as a source of raw material for cosmetic, pharmaceutical and petroleum industries, the cultivation of Castor crop will definitely boost the income of the farmers in Kandi areas” he said . The introduction of castor as an alternate crop will also eliminate the threat of monkey menace especially in kandi areas, he added.
The DC appreciated the farmers came forward and executed the initiative under the technical guidance of the Agriculture department. He said the farmers in the district and being extended full support through technological intervention, by providing state of the art equipment, high yielding variety seeds to increase farm income.
Chief Agriculture Officer, Sanjeev Rai said every year paddy crop on 2200 ha land gets affected by Monkey Menace thereby causing huge loss to the farmers and the Castor Crop offers best alternative. He said the department was making sincere efforts to mitigate the problems of the farmers and strengthen their socio-economic condition.
Pertinently, Kathua district has brought 1 Acre of land mass under castor crop cultivation.
On the occasion, a local progressive farmer Jyoti Prakash also shared the experiences of his exposure visit to Gujarat where he witnessed benefits reaped by the farmers by plantation of Castor crop.
District Agriculture Officer (Ext.) Raju Mahajan, Sub Divisional Agriculture Officer Sanjiv Mehta (SMS-SDL), Agriculture Extension Officer-Govindsar, Mohinder Singh and other officials from the department were also present on the occasion.