Jammu and Kashmir Agriculture Minister Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura today batted for making farmers aware of the latest technologies to enhance production in the sector. He made the remarks while launching the e-plant clinics, a workshop organised by Department of Agriculture in collaboration with Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI), South Asia here. “There is need to reach out to the farmers and take the technological innovations and research to the field. We have launched e-plant clinics. It is vital that the farmers are kept well abreast with the advancements in the agriculture sector to enhance production,” Hanjura said.
About 15 plant clinics have been established by CABI in Samba, Kathua and Jammu district in 2016 which are providing guidance to the farmers.
Under the plant-wise programme of CABI, 22 officials have been trained as plant doctors who will work to diagnose various plant diseases in the Jammu region and upload the data on Plant-wise Online Management System (POMS) which can be assessed by worldwide experts. Stressing that the plant diseases cause great damage to the crops, the minister said establishment of these clinics will go a long way in protecting crops from diseases, thereby, increasing the productivity and income of farmers.
He stressed that more such clinics should be established in all parts of the state with a special focus on the far flung areas of Kashmir Valley and Ladakh, so that the farmers can avail the benefit.
Hanjura called upon the trained plant doctors to conduct awareness programmes at village level to educate the farmers about various plant diseases along with the measures for keeping their crops safe against various diseases.
The Minister further asked CABI experts to collaborate with the agriculture department and SKUAST-J (Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Jammu) to find solution to the menace of locusts (migratory grasshoppers) which cause damage to the crops in the Zanaskar valley in Kargil.
K S Risam, director, extension of SKUAST-J, said the establishment of these clinics will also help in achieving the goal of ‘Doubling Farmers Income by 2022’. He further said that the contact number of plant doctors should also be displayed in plant clinics so that the farmers can contact them in the need of the hour.