Background: The Department of Agriculture in Jammu and Kashmir State came into existence during the pre-independence era. Till the year 1981 there was a single Directorate of Agriculture for the whole State.The Department was assigned specific mandate to bring about increase in crop production in a planned way to feed its fast growing population. In the year 1981-82, separate Directorates of Agriculture were established for both Jammu as well as Kashmir Divisions due to diverse agro-climatic conditions prevailing in these Divisions. This facilitated formulation of policies and programmes aimed at optimization and rational utilization of land and water resources for sustained agricultural production. Initially the department was exercising jurisdiction in the following wide fields:
Agri Development and Extension
Development of Seed multiplication Programmes
Research on Agriculture.
Maintenance of Botanicals gardens and development of Poultry.
Development of Horticulture & Management of Rakhs and Farms
With the passage of time some of the schemes like parks and gardens, Horticulture Development, Poultry Development got separated during the early sixties. Subsequent to 60’s the department got tremendous expansion in various schemes under the agenda of crash Programmes, intensive agri production, drought prone area programme plant protection management and with particular attention to development area under vegetable development programme and involving high yielding varieties of paddy and cereal seeds, besides introduction of farm Machinery subsequently from machinery was withdrawn and a separate corporation namely AIDC came into existence during late 60’s. During April 1982, the department got bifurcated in to two directorates one each at provincial level of J&K State followed by another bifurcation in the form that all the research schemes of department were transferred to a new organization known as SKAUST J&K in the month of 08/1982.
The Department of Agriculture, Kashmir envisages to help growers in the filed of agriculture with:
Land being a limited resource, would continue to be under stress in future. A very high priority will, therefore, be accorded to exploring possibilities and potentialities of crop diversification in different agroclimatic zones with a view to maximizing the return per unit area of the land to the farmer, consistent with ecological and environmental considerations. In high cropping intensity areas including irrigated areas, knowledge intensive precision farming techniques shall be prescribed and promoted for adoption. Use of hybrid varieties shall be encouraged in order to break yield barriers. Farmers will be advised about suitable technological packages including choice of crops, varieties and the requisite inputs to ensure high productivity with elastic cropping mechanism. The pattern of incentives in these areas and input packages shall be reviewed and tailored to suit the changing needs. Available surface and ground water resources shall be tapped through public and private investments with a focus on providing irrigation facilities for appropriate crops in Karewa areas. Ground water resources shall be properly mapped with assistance from the concerned central agencies .Extensive awareness programme shall be planned and implemented for judici.ous and efficient use of irrigation water. Energy needs for ground water exploitation shall be met on priority under single window clearance. Existing canal systems will be brought under participatory irrigation management. Special incentives will be provided for popularization of water-harvesting structures, storage tanks, watersaving methods of irrigation like sprinkler, drip and underground pipelines.In rain-fed areas, diversified and value-added agriculture system shall be advocated. Incentives and technical messages shall converge on promotion and adoption of the full package of recommended practices including the choice of crops and varieties, rain water management including in situ- moisture conservation, water harvesting and recycling. The principle of management on water- shed basis shall be adopted for this purpose.
Agro-met advisory services shall be initiated for all the agro-climatic zones covering medium and long range weather forecasts for timely operations, in co-ordination with the state Agriculture universities and National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast.
Major thrust will also be laid on increasing farm power as a supplement and substitute to reduced availability of draught animals for farming operations. Appropriate energy efficient, user-friendly and sturdy implements suiting the suiting the needs of various regions shall be developed and popularized.
Stress will be laid on quality at all stages of farm operations from sowing to primary processing. Quality consciousness among farmers and agroprocessors will be promoted through effective use of the media and personal contact by the departmental functionaries and instituting a scheme of awards for recognizing outstanding performance.
Integrated Nutrient Management practices using chemical fertilizers in conjunction with organic resources like farm-yard manure, enriched compost bio-fertilizers and green manuring will be popularized. This will optimize crop production in irrigated as well as rain-fed areas, besides improving soil productivity.
Integrated Pest Management package will be popularized for adoption through special incentives. This would check the indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides and out-break of secondary pests, pollution in food materials and eco-system and add a new dimension of organic produce for promoting marketing of fruits and vegetables.
Farmers will also be educated about the concept of integrated development of their farm household by taking a holistic view of their assets and potential. For this purpose, bringing about convergence of various schemes for development of the rural sector will be a priority.
It is necessary to bring out proper convergence in the implementation of various schemes for upliftment of rural masses and poverty alleviation. Necessary intuitional mechanism will be devised to bring out the requisite convergence.
Jammu Division has a total geographical area of 26,293 sq. kms, which comprises about 12 percent of the total geographical area of the State. Land use statistics is, however, available for a total reported area of 17.94 lac Ha.(17940 sq.kms) as per village records. The net area under cultivation in this Division is 3.90 lac Ha. out of which an area of 1.00 lac Ha. is irrigated.
Courtesy by: peacekashmir