CONNECTING WITH FARMERS

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Connecting with farmers

by Mir Tanveer 

The J&K government launched the Kisan Sampark Abhiyan in 3,565 panchayats on April 24.

THE Jammu and Kashmir government, on April 24, launched the Kisan Sampark Abhiyan in
3,565 panchayats to educate farmers on various issues, including business management,
entrepreneurship and government schemes.
The Kisan Sampark Abhiyan is a prestigious programme of the Agriculture Production
Department, aimed at the overall welfare of farmers across the Union Territory.
This was announced by Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture Production Department, Atal
Dulloo, during a high-level meeting he chaired to review the progress on preparations for the programme launch.

The abhiyan was launched across 3,565 panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir from April 24, and will last for four months. It aims to involve Panchayati Raj Institutions in the scheme and celebrate & Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav &as a part of the programme.
“Some 2,400 resource persons have been identified and trained for all districts, and 45
educational videos in multiple languages have been created to educate farmers to ensure the success of the ambitious programme. Also, pamphlets have been printed in Urdu, Hindi and English,” said Dulloo. The abhiyan will include question and answer sessions for the farmers and they will receive education about 18 centrally-sponsored schemes that have been designed for their welfare and development.
Additionally, manual passbooks under the Kisan Credit Card scheme will be replaced by smart cards for the farmers. This change is aimed at helping farmers increase their spending in the sector, ultimately leading to an improvement in their productivity and production, Dullo added.
The Agriculture Production Department will launch Daksh Kisan, an online skilling platform
that will provide farmers with learning opportunities, he added. “The platform will include 1,700 videos across 118 courses in Urdu, Hindi, Dogri and Kashmiri. The course material with 20,000 pages will cover several modules, including business management and entrepreneurship,” Dulloo further informed.

Learners will be given certificates from SKUAST after the completion of the courses. The entire programme is free of cost, making it an unprecedented initiative for the farming community of Jammu and Kashmir, noted Dulloo.
The programme will also launch an IT platform, a one-stop dashboard to offer all farmers-related services and schemes of the government with a facility for online application and approval. The online system will also provide timely, sector-wise, region-wise and crop-wise advisories to registered farmers through SMS, irrespective of whether they have undergone any course or not, said Dulloo.
He encouraged officers to educate farmers about the programme and ensure their availability and increase the participation of Panchayati Raj Institution members.
Some of the farmers, sharing notes regarding the abhiyan, said these kind of initiatives brought awareness and a scientific approach among the farming community from rural areas, and who are dealing with allied sectors of agriculture. Such policies encourage farmers to develop interest in the farming sector, they felt.
Another officer working as a resource person for the programme said that the UT government’s intention was to build policies and programmes to empower farmers and this programme was a part of that. “In this programme, we are able to get connected with our farmers at a local level and are able to guide them towards modern farming, different from the traditional approach. In these programmes, different segments of the agriculture sector are discussed with farmers for start-ups, for generating livelihood for families and for the society as a whole. There is a lot of scope in this field for generating livelihood in Kashmir and providing a source of employment to the unemployed youth of Kashmir,” he said.
In this programme, different central government policies and schemes are discussed with
farmers while availing of financial support for developing the economy. The government is
making efforts in creating loan facilities easily available to the farmers without any obstacle or acquiring details from financial institutions or banks.
In Budgam district, Chairman, District Development Council (DDC) Nazir Ahmed Khan, along with Budgam ADDC Dr Akramullha Tak, presided over the Sampark programme at Panchayat Halqa Aripanthan in Beerwah Block.

During an interaction with the media, they said these kind of initiatives, through local governing institutions of UT, bring administration at the doorsteps of people without any problems or difficulties. They said the community of farmers could turn out to be game
changers in revolutionising the agricultural sector in the UT.
To reach people in the UT administrative machinery is a priority for LG Manoj Sinha besides
bringing vibrancy in the agricultural sector of the UT with respect to parallel economic setups in both Kashmir as well as the Jammu division.

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