The two-day long Kisan Mela at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Jammu (SKUAST-J) concluded here today.Minister for Animal, Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries Abdul Ghani Kohli was the chief guest at the valedictory function.The theme of this year’s Kisan Mela, “Technology Driven Agriculture for Doubling Farmers’ Income” was chosen to educate farmers for multiplying their farm income in light of Prime Minister’s endeavour to double the farmers’ income by 2022. The average highest farm household on-farm and off-farm income is in Punjab at Rs. 18,059 per month compared to national average of Rs. 6,426 per month which is meagre for livelihood security of the farm households. In the state of J&K, the gross average on-farm income per farm household is Rs. 6,469 per month.Abdul Ghani Kohli visited the stalls being set up by Punjab Agricultural University, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Departments of Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Faculty of Agriculture, Faculty of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry, Private Industry and farmers in the Kisan Mela and appreciated the displayed technologies.In his address to the farmers, the Minister laid emphasis on the importance of the Mela and said that in a green state like Jammu and Kashmir, we import the sheep from arid states like Rajasthan and eggs worth Rs. 80-90 crore annually from neighbouring states.
The Minister informed that the government has formulated a proposal for poultry and fisheries development in the state to make the state self-sufficient. He further said that the state departments of these sectors and the University should do strategic planning for making the state self-sufficient in meat and meat products.The Minister also distributed awards among the selected progressive cattle/ buffalo/sheep and goat/ poultry farmers whose animals were adjudged as the best animals in the Mela. The awards were also distributed to the best technological stalls set up by government sector institutions/universities, private sector agriculture industry, farmers and non-government organizations. In the crop production and horticulture, the awards were given to various categories of stalls installed in the exhibition.Vice Chancellor, SKUAST-J Dr. Pradeep K. Sharma appreciated the efforts of the farmers and enumerated various salient achievements of the University in developing technologies for the region.He further said that Animal Husbandry will play a vital role in doubling the farmers’ income and said that the Mela is a traditional method of mass communication for creating awareness and disseminating information. He said that the number of farmers in Kisan Mela-2018 far exceeded the farmers’ participation in the one held last year.In his welcome address, Director Extension SKUAST-J Dr K.S Risam informed that a large number of farmers attended the Kisan Mela and said that the farmers’ visits were conducted to Technology Park in which the University has demonstrated how to increase cropping intensity by doubling the on-farm income, besides organizing Kisan Goshtis to answer the farmers’ queries and provide expert advice by the scientists of the University.The Vote of Thanks was presented by Associate Director Extension, SKUAST Jammu Dr R.R Jat.