JAMMU: Asserting that Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing the brunt of climate change, with average mean temperature climbing up and causing situations like flood and untimely rainfall, Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Atal Dulloo on Friday said that the farmers need to adapt to these weather changes so that they would not suffer on economic front.
He was speaking after inaugurating a two day International conference on “Existing Climate Change Scenario and its Arising Risks” at SKUAST-Jammu today.
The conference is being organized by Mahima Research Foundation in conjunction with Social Welfare Department and Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Jammu.
Atal Dulloo, during his inaugural speech, congratulated the SKUAST Jammu for holding this mega event of great relevance in present era. He said that Agriculture is an integral part of world’s economy and is the lifeline of underdeveloped and developing countries like India.
ACS strongly advocated that agriculture is the only sector that can help in reducing poverty by raising incomes and food security for 80 percent of the world’s poor populace. But, today the prosperity of agriculture and future of our farmers is being threatened by numerous impending challenges like climate change which needs to be tackled collectively. He added that the yield of rainfed and irrigated rice in India has been projected to reduce by 2.5 percent and 7 percent respectively by 2050. Further, wheat yield has been projected to be lessened by 6-25 percent in 2100 and maize yields by 18-23 percent.
ACS said that J&K is also witnessing the brunt of climate change and average mean temperature in last 28 years has climbed up by 2.32°C and 1.45°C in Jammu and Kashmir region respectively. In 2014, we witnessed a devastating flood situation in Kashmir and almost every year due to untimely rainfall, the crop of paddy in Jammu and apple in Kashmir suffer huge losses, he added saying that we should prepare ourselves and our farmers to adapt to these weather changes so that they would not suffer on economic front.
Dulloo informed that the government have constituted a High Powered Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mangla Rai, Former DG, ICAR and Secretary DARE for formulating a comprehensive policy for holistic agriculture development in J&K.
He appreciated the Vice Chancellors of both farm universities for playing outstanding role in drafting proposals with the target to enhance incomes of farmers in J&K. He said that SKUAST Jammu is a hub of various technological innovations in the field of agriculture and has achieved numerous milestones under the stewardship of Vice Chancellor Professor J P Sharma.
Earlier, ACS inaugurated Training and Testing Lab of Agricultural Engineering, Bioinformatics lab of School of Biotechnology, Smart Class room and Statistical Data Analysis Cell (SDAC) in the division of Statistics and Computer Science.
Dulloo also visited bee keeping unit, mushroom unit, technology park, integrated farming system research centre and centre for organic farming and inspected the exhibition of technologies of SKUAST Jammu.
Professor J P Sharma appreciated Dulloo for his outstanding efforts during the COVID period and now in agriculture sector which has been recognized and rewarded at UT level and national level as well.
He said that J&K administration has initiated several initiatives which would definitely transform the agriculture profile of the UT. He added that farm universities and all the development departments are now working collectively for development of farmers and agriculture in J&K.
Professor Sharma stressed upon processing, waste management, value addition and marketing of agriculture produce through promotion of FPOs and cooperative societies in the country to empower farmers. He advised organizers to come out with recommendations out of this conference.
Professor Nazir Ahmad Ganai, Vice Chancellor, SKUAST Kashmir, who was the guest of honour on the occasion, said that in the present era, agriculture is facing a lot of challenges regarding water scarcity, declining land availability, land fragmentation, wastage of agricultural produce, disinterest of youth towards agriculture and migration of rural people towards urban areas.
Professor A Mushunje from South Africa also spoke on the occasion.
Giving details of the conference, Dr. Brajeshwar Singh, Convener of the international conference, informed that there will be eight technical sessions and six poster sessions during two day mega event with more than 300 delegates comprising professionals, researchers, academia, policy makers, extension functionaries, students and representatives of different organizations from India and across the globe have registered for the conference.
Dr. Sumati Sharma, former Additional Director, DRDO, Director Agriculture, Director Horticulture, Director Command Area Development, Dea, FoA, SKUAST-Kashmir, statutory officers of SKUAST Jammu, students and media personnel were present on the occasion.