Farm Easy

 SKUAST-K recently organised a two-day Farmers Mela 2023. And what an initiative it always is, to connect the farmer with agricultural research, technology and development.

Mir Tanveer

SHER-E-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences &
Technology of Kashmir (SKUAST-K) recently organised at two-
day Farmers Mela 2023. Inaugurated by Advisor to J&K Lieutenant Governor Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, this was the 8 th ‘Technology Exhibition-cum-Seed Sale Mela. The two day event was held under the theme ‘Subsistence to Sustainable Commercial Agriculture’.

Of, for and from the farmer
The LG administration has, from time to time, reiterated that it aims to double the income of the Valley’s farmers. Various awareness camps have been organised by the UT administration so as to empower farmers to earn a decent livelihood. The SKUAST-K Kisan Mela is the latest among such initiatives. The opening day of the mela saw the presence of the Srinagar Mayor Junai Azim Mattu; Chairperson of the J&K Waqf Board Dr. Darakshan Andrabi; Vice Chairperson J&K Khadi & Village Industries Board (KVIB) Dr. Hina Shafi Bhat besides a large number of students, entrepreneurs, farmers and research scholars.

On the opening day of the mela, Advisor Bhatnagar, along with other dignitaries, visited various stalls showcasing a variety of technologies and products developed in the field of agriculture and its allied sectors. The Advisor appreciated the work done by the start-ups and interacted with the entrepreneurs present and was curious about the innovative work done by them. The Advisor also visited stalls displaying and highlighting Farmer Welfare Schemes and programmes besides the exhibits displayed by other stakeholders dealing with agriculture inputs, farm machinery and organic products. Speaking at the occasion, Advisor Bhatnagar observed that such exhibitions played a crucial role in offering opportunity to
farmers so that they can access reliable, updated and relevant information. He laid emphasis on connecting farmers with the experts from the university and the industry, which could reduce risks and uncertainty. He further highlighted that the present administration was indeed trying its best to promote the culture of start-ups and entrepreneurship in agriculture and its allied sectors so as to tap the potential of the agriculture sector across Jammu & Kashmir. He added that the government had already approved a mega project for the holistic development of the agriculture sector which should change the agricultural landscape of the
entire Valley.

The University Vice-Chancellor Prof Nazir A Ganai said that the mela was a national-level event, witnessing the participation of farmers, students, budding entrepreneurs, private players, input dealers, policy planners, development departments, and other related institutions from across the country. Adding that
SKUAST-K was a leading farm science university known globally for promoting start-ups and entrepreneurship in agriculture and allied sectors, he also said that they were working to address the challenges of food and nutritional security. He
further said: “SKUAST-K is becoming a preferred destination for international students, offering learning and a research ecosystem within an enabling and an engaging environment. He highlighted the varsity initiatives in going global, and in
particular, mentioned the recently held International Education Fair at New Delhi.
The mela saw stalls installed by champion farmers, industry associated people, student and faculty innovators, subject matter faculties, and research stations, farm science centres etc.
The mela, besides highlighting technologies developed by the university, put on exhibit & sale quality planting material, vegetable seeds, flowering seedlings, elite germ-plasm of livestock and poultry, milk and milk products, livestock feed,
vermin-compost, fish and value added agri-products.

New strides in agriculture through use of Artificial Intelligence and machine demos were also shown to the farmers at the mela.


Happy farmers

Mushtaq Ahmad, a farmer from Budgam said he always waited eagerly for this mela every year since it provides him a chance to develop an expert understanding and opinion on technology development needed in the modern lines of farming. “Farmers from different sectors are provided a chance to showcase their performance and knowledge on a shared platform during this mela and that is what makes it very special,” he added. Another farmer, Adul Rashid, involved in horticulture & fruit farming, said the mela has helped him receive technical and scientific information regarding horticulture through interactions with experts. “We are able to receive technological research done by our worthy scientists during such melas,” he added.
Indeed, this mela provides an insight into the different aspects of farming in allied sectors. Enterprise and development are at the heart of such initiatives.


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