JAMMU: The agriculture department has procured 3.36 lakh quintal paddy from more than 6,500 farmers in Jammu and Kashmir last year, an official said on Wednesday.
At a meeting of northern states on the price policy for kharif crops 2023-24 here, Director of Agriculture Jammu K K Sharma said, “The department has established 23 procurement mandis to maintain a reasonable price for agriculture products.”
“During the year, 3.36 lakh quintal paddy was procured covering 6,549 farmers and crediting Rs 68.88 crore in their accounts within 48 hours through direct benefit transfer,” he said.
He said the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir stands at the third position in terms of farmers’ income as the department worked tirelessly even during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect the interests of farmers and holistic development of the agriculture sector.
The objective of the department is to provide quality seeds, protecting farmers’ interests, maintaining a reasonable price for agricultural products and increasing agriculture production, he said.
Sharma said 70 per cent of the population of Jammu and Kashmir depend on agriculture and allied sectors.
He said the sector has been growing at an average of 2.02 per cent (2011-12 prices) and contributes 18 per cent to the GDP of of the Union territory.
“Jammu and Kashmir is essentially a mountainous region wherein only about 18 per cent of the area is under cultivation,” he added.