A two-day regional conference on “Specialized agriculture in the context of the agricultural economy of the Himalayan region” started today in SKUAST-Jammu. The conference is organized by SKUAST-Jammu Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Management Division in collaboration with Indian Society Agricultural Economics, Mumbai.
In his inaugural address, Prof. JP Sharma, Vice Chancellor of the University who was the chief guest on the occasion, commended the Division of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Management for the organization of this mega event.
He said that in the present times, agriculture is facing many challenges regarding water scarcity, decreasing land availability, land fragmentation, wastage of agricultural products, disinterest of young people towards agriculture and the migration of rural populations to urban areas.
To overcome these challenges, he suggested transforming conventional farming into an agribusiness with a focus on specialized farming. He also spoke about the Prime Minister’s vision of zero hunger through zero waste.
He emphasized processing, waste management, value addition and marketing of agricultural products through the promotion of OPAs and cooperative societies in the country to empower farmers.
Dr. Krishan Bir Choudhary, President, Bharatiya Krishak Samaj and guest of honor of the function discussed the various agro-ecological conditions of the Himalayan region and called them a treasure trove of knowledge and life support for millions of people.
He further revealed that the region is home to diverse flora and fauna. He appreciated the role of women farmers in housekeeping, agriculture and dairy farming and stressed the need to promote the value added products of OPAs created by SKUAST-Jammu at national and national levels. international level because they are in high demand.
He also pointed out that much of J&K is by default organic in nature and that the need of the hour is to provide large area organic certification to these areas so that products from these areas can be marketed as organic products that will fetch good prices and improve farmers’ incomes. He pointed out that KVK should work as Krishi Gyan Kendras.
Dr. HR Sharma, former Vice Chancellor pro CUHP, Dharamshala and guest of honor gave a detailed overview of the activities of the Indian Society of Agricultural Economics and its role in the development of agriculture.
He shared his experience of working in Himachal Pradesh and revealed how the hilly state transformed from grain-based crops to high value crops, responding to market needs and demand. He also insisted on the cultivation of cultures capable of facing the challenges of climate change.
Dr. MM Jha, Principal of Central University of Sanskrit, Jammu and special guest said that for sustainable development of agriculture and livelihoods Indian knowledge system based on Vedic traditions should be followed.
At the start, Dr. Jyoti Kachroo, the organizing secretary of the regional conference, gave a welcome speech and elaborated the detailed program for the two-day conference. She said about 315 delegates have registered for the conference, including about 150 members of the scientific community, 160 students as well as industry professionals across the country.
She further stated that approximately 56 delegates would join through the online mode and 50 applications had been received for the poster presentation. Eight technical sessions have been scheduled during these two days to discuss and deepen the main themes and to clear the appropriate way forward in these major areas. During the inaugural session, six publications, including memorabilia and abstracts, were released by the dignitaries.
The First Lady of the University, Dr. Sumati Sharma, Former ADG, DRDO, Director of Agriculture, Director of Horticulture, Director of Command Area Development, Director of Sheep Husbandry, Statutory Officers of University, staff, students and media personnel were also present on occasion. The inaugural program proceedings were conducted by Dr. Sachin Gupta and Dr. Anil Bhat while the vote of thanks was presented by Dr. Sudhakar Dwivedi.