JAMMU: Zonal Research and Extension Advisory Committee (ZREAC) meeting for kharif 2022 with respect to agriculture, horticulture, sericulture, floriculture, Command Area Development, Animal Husbandry, Sheep Husbandry and fisheries was organized by Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) Jammu organized under the Chairmanship of Prof. J.P. Sharma, Vice-Chancellor.
In his presidential address, Prof. Sharma highlighted the importance of shifting to natural farming in potential areas of Jammu & Kashmir. He informed that National Education policy in agriculture will be directed for popularizing natural farming through revision of syllabus at college and university levels. He suggested to organize joint workshop to finalize the roadmap for identifying and implementing natural farming policy in Jammu region. Appreciating the coordination between line departments and University scientists, Prof. Sharma emphasized upon strengthening the ties further for developing entrepreneurs and start-ups in Jammu.
Recognizing the fact that 2023 will be celebrated as International Year of Millets, the chairman suggested to identify clusters for enhancing production of millets in Jammu region. He also stressed upon the implementation of specific programmes on ODOP scheme for reaping benefits of the scheme in different districts of Jammu region. Prof. Sharma also suggested to undertake collaborative studies to assess demand and supply of milk, meat, fish and poultry in J&K for farming a UT level policy. He also suggested to undertake impact studies on government schemes such as machinery banks and cutom hiring centres. Highlighting the importance of heritage agriculture, he suggested department officers to collaborate with University scientists for implementation of such beneficial projects.
While presenting the welcome address, Dr. S.K. Gupta, Director Extension highlighted the rationale behind organization of ZREAC meeting. He endorsed the cooperation of line departments for fulfilling the mandates of extension on Jammu region, despite non-organization of previous two meetings on ZREAC kharif due to CIVID-19 restrictions. Dr. Pardeep Wali, Director Research presented the overview of the research activities of SKUAST-Jammu and discussed the potential varieties and technologies ready for demonstrations on farmers’ fields.
Earlier, Director General Command Area Development R.S. Tara, raised the issues related to judicious use of water for bringing more area under assured irrigation in the identified command and boosting the economic status of farming community. Director Horticulture, Jammu Ram Savak prioritized issues such as model horticulture interventions for establishing integrated farm, epidemiology and management of mango malformation in kandi areas, sustainability of olive plantation in Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar and Kathua, trials of Papaya varieties for improving quality, low cost designs for grape vines and Kiwi creepere. Director Agriculture K.K. Sharma raised the issues of replacement of Pusa-1121 because of its susceptibility to diseases, recommendation of short duration rice varieties for rainfed and irrigated areas, drought resistant varieties of Maize for Doda, Ramban & Kishtwar districts, detailed recommendation for maize and Rajmash mixed cropping, maize varieties for silage making.promotion of Horse-Gram in Kandi belt of Jammu, Samba & Kathua, provision of improved varieties of ginger, turmeric, garlic, alocasia, colocasia and zimikand, package of practices for medicinal mushroom, low cost techniques to counter wild animals, identification of local germ plasm of lesser millets, provision of nucleus stock of Apis melifera & Apis cerana for further bee breeding and advance training for collection of Bee hive products such as Bee Pollen, Bee Venom, Pollen, Propolis, and Queen Bee rearing etc.
Krishan Lal, Director Sheep Husbandry suggested for introduction of Embryo Transfer Technology & Artificial Insemination in collaboration with SKUAST-J, introduction of progesterone Impregnated Sponge for Oestrus synchronization and introgression of Fec-B gene in sheep and goat, establishment of Mutton producing breed in Jammu region and eradication of weeds such as Lantana camara weed and Congress grass from the grazing areas. R.K. Bhagat, Additional Director, Sericulture suggested for adoption of sericulture villages in Jammu division for transfer of technology and development of Chawki Garden Models for farmers, popularization of drought resistant mulberry varieties and multiplication and distribution silkworm races developed by SKUAST-J. Sunil Singh, Deputy Director Floriculture highlighted demand for commercial varieties of chrysanthemums, production technology of lillium bulbs and integrated farming system inclusive of floriculture and mass production of tissue culture Marigold cv. Calcuttia. Dr. Tariq Parwaiz, Joint Director, Animal Husbandry suggested for establishment of Joint Research Centres on the pattern of KVKs for better dissemination of knowledge to farmers. He further raised the issues of fodder scarcity, FMD outbreak, repeat breeding and sex sorted semen.
Among other members, Dr. Jyoti Kachroo Director Planning & Monitoring, Dr. Asim Kr Mondal, Dean Faculty of Agriculture, Dr. MS Bhadwal Dean, Faculty of FVSc. & AH, Dr. SEH Rizvi Dean Faculty of Basic Sciences, Dr. S.K. Gupta, Registrar, Heads of Divisions of all faculties, Senior Scientist and Heads of Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Scientists Incharge Stations, Joint Director Agriculture (Inputs), Joint Director Agriculture (Extension), Chief Agriculture Officers, Chief Horticulture officers as well as other district officers from agriculture, horticulture, floriculture, sericulture and CAD were present in the meeting. Dr. Pawan K Sharma, Scientist (Agril Economics) carried out the proceedings of the programme and presented formal vote of thanks.