Kashmir Rights Forum

Month: January 2023

Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) on Thursday approved an “Apple Cluster” for Shopian district in Jammu and Kashmir under Cluster Development Programme.

This was announced during a daylong conference on ‘India Cold Chain Conclave’, organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in conjunction with the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi.

During the conference, Secretary MoAFW, Manoj Ahuja, formally announced the decision with regard to setting up of the Apple Cluster for the district under Cluster Development Programme and nod to the ‘Acceptance Letter’ to J&K for implementation.

The Shopian Apple Cluster envisages development of Shopian Apple on three verticals including pre-production-production, post-harvest management and value addition and logistics, marketing and branding to make it globally competitive.

Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Agriculture Production Department, Atal Dulloo, while highlighting broad contours of the project, said that Agriculture Production Department, with the technical support of National Horticulture Board and Grant Thorton (Ministry’s Consultants for the CDP) invited RFPs for selection of Implementing Agencies (IAs) to execute the verticals in Shopian district and M/s FIL emerged as the successful Implementing Agency for the project.

The project is estimated to cost Rs 135.23 crore, of which, about Rs 37.05 crore would be provided by the MoAFW as grant- in- aid. The IA shall provide an equity to the tune of Rs 29.91 crore and raise a term loan of Rs 68.27 crore.

The project is expected to be implemented in four years and it is expected to transform the landscape of the horticulture eco-system of Shopian district.

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir government has implemented the Denmark model to increase milk production by 41 percent in the next five years.

Currently, the annual milk production in Jammu and Kashmir is 26 Lakh Metric Tons (LMT).

 An official document accessed by The Kashmir Monitor revealed that the Jammu and Kashmir administration has set the target to increase the annual milk production to 44 LMT.

“Under the programme Per Animal Productivity will be increased from 2400Litres Per Animal (LPA)  to 4300L PA. The annual milk production in Jammu and Kashmir will be increased from 26 LMT to 44 LMT,” it said

The document said that Jammu and Kashmir has a large dairy population, however, their productivity is fairly low.

“In terms of Artificial insemination, only 30% of the dairy animals are being provided breeding coverage.  Further due to the shortage of heifers around 20,000 dairy animals of unknown genetic merit are being imported every year. Against 35%, only 3-4% of milk enters organized processing and value chains for milk processing, especially at village levels are lacking,” it said.

Under Rs 370.51 crore dairy development programme, the government is planning to push milk production. The focus will be on breeding quality genetic material to uplift the dairy industry.

“The programme will aim at increasing Artificial Insemination(AI) centers from 1389 to 2189 through 800 Private AI workers. Murrah buffalo breeding farm will be established and output from Semen Stations will be doubled (9 to 19 lacs doses per animal).  We will set up 400 satellite heifer-rearing units,” it said.

The government has also decided to augment milk processing capacity and strengthen marketing and value addition. “There will be a four times increase in milk collection. At least 110 lakh liters of additional milk shall be value added at village levels every year through Self Help Groups,” the document said.

Dr. Arif Bashir Technical officer Agriculture Production Department told The Kashmir Monitor that they will follow the Denmark model to increase milk productivity in the union territory.

 “Currently the milk production growth rate in Jammu and Kashmir is at the rate of 3.5 percent per year. We have envisioned taking the yearly milk production to 4468000LMT by 2027 and finally 98 LMT by 2047. Our benchmark is Denmark where an average cow gives 9000 liters of milk per year,” he said.”

Dr. Arif said that many interventions are being brought to make Jammu and Kashmir one of the leading milk-producing union territories.

“We will be working on various components including 70 percent Artificial Insemination coverage in five years. Milk value addition is one of the prime focus as milk products including ghee, butter, and cheese will be produced in bulk. Similarly, we are also working under the programme to bring down the fodder deficit from 41 to a mere 8 percent,” he said.

Writer: Firdous Hassan

            When the Kashmiris were soundly celebrating the new year eve, cultural dance performances, live musical concerts were going on, pictures with snow man were being captured; an unfortunate incident took place in the Bellow village of Pulwama district. CRPF deployed for the safety of the local Kashmiris to thwart any possible untoward incident in the area was discussing the normalcy brought out by the joint efforts of local community and the security forces. Seemingly everything was well toned and certainty of any terror attack was scare. Out from the pedestrians one youth snatched a rifle from one CRPF personnel and flee from the spot. The area was bulked with the passersby and nobody had any idea of what had happened. Whilst a scream was heard about rifle snatching and in fury it spread like fire. Meanwhile the news reached home of the Soba Ganie, who had hid it at some secret place. Soba Ganie aged 25 years shared the whole incident with his family members thinking that his family would hail him. However to his utter surprise, he was badly scolded and admonished. Seeing the disapproval of his family, Soba turned nervous as family members took to this task harshly. They made Soba to rub his nose onto sputter on ground. Stun and still Soba was refrained from entering the kitchen. Boycott from his family reimbursed him to immediately quit the hangover of gun culture. This momentous instance left a remarkable impact on the radical young man and forced his curiosity to imbibe the wisdom from his grave mistake. Though the people around him were still discussing and skimming about the incident, Soba had been in chill of his thoughts, as to why he felt into the trap of the pseudo-intellectuals. This time his mind could relate every hustle and bustle to possible consequence. Deep in his thoughts Soba was paying gigantic gratitude to his family for halting him in the jiffy of craziness, when his mind had been blocked due to the misguidance from his peers.

            After some time, when the search operation had already been launched by the joint teams of the security forces, Soba entirely shaken had decided to return back to the mainstream. Outwardly the incident looked like having an execution period of few hours  — CASO and arrest — but the reality had been a mixture of timely puzzle and bewilderment in bulk. After having been all ears to the family, the rifle was handed back to the security forces and a future of a youth was saved. The positive role of the wise family in this case serves as an example for the rest of families of Kashmir, whose sons have either directly or indirectly been involved in the terror nexuses. The spirit of Kashmiriyat was saved by the family with a surprising instance of handing over the weapon to security forces.

            It needs to be taken into mind that during the past, a lot of Kashmiri youth have lost their lives to the bullets in view of their adamant behaviors and misguidance from the inimical elements. Nevertheless the role played by the family unlike past incidents requires higher appreciation. The role of family is crucial in safeguarding their wards from the menace of terrorism. And in this case as well, the active role of family brought back the misguided youth from a dead end to survival zone. Humanistic way of purifying the youth from the gun culture is dire need of the hour. Additionally it is an effective and easy way to disarm the ideology of the youth maligned with the radicalism.