SRINAGAR: The Government is introducing liquid Nano Urea in Jammu and Kashmir agriculture and the first consignment is on its way after Lt Governor Manoj Sinha flagged off the first consignment of IFFCO supplies from the Kalol area of Gujarat. An official spokesman termed it “a giant leap” in adopting environment-friendly farming practices.
Sinha congratulated Dr US Awasthi, Managing Director, (Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd) IFFCO and his team members for developing the “world’s first Liquid Nano Urea”, which will “enhance crop yield, protect crops from seasonal damage while maintaining soil quality”. The initiative is aimed at saving the environment and keeping the soil of the agricultural fields fertile, the spokesman said.
The spokesman said 15,000 bottles of Liquid Nano Urea are leaving Kalol, Gujrat for the farmers of Jammu and Kashmir. These will be equally distributed between Kashmir and Jammu. “The total consignment of liquid nano-urea will be equivalent to 675 metric tonnes of conventional urea,” the spokesman said.
Citing the positives of the use of Liquid Nano Urea, the Lt Governor maintained that it will bring a reformative change in farming practices and benefit the farmers, especially those involved in traditional and high-value crops. Now, only half a litre of liquid nano urea will replace one sack of manure. There are many such hill farms in many districts, where farmers have to travel several kilometres to reach their agriculture fields. Instead of carrying a bag of urea, now the farmers have to carry only half a litre bottle of urea, he added.
The excessive use of urea is resulting in making the soil barren across the country. It has not only affected the nitrogen cycle but also harms the environment and people’s health. Initially, many farmers may get benefitted due to its excessive use, but later the same urea destroys the fertility of the fields, the Lt Governor said. On the financial aspects of the new initiative, the Lt Governor observed that the Liquid Nano Urea will subsequently bring down the cost of farming. The cost of one bottle of this urea is 10% less than that of a 45 kg of urea bag.
Since Nano Urea does not require subsidy, the government will save about Rs 27,000 crore, besides providing a benefit of Rs 28,000 crore to the farmers by reducing their cost on agriculture, he added.
On the occasion, the Lt Governor also added that the J&K Government is intending to increase the productivity of Basmati agricultural land. The Jammu and Kashmir administration has taken a policy decision for converting 60,000 hectares of Basmati agricultural land into a more productive one, and for this, very good quality seeds are also being made available for farmers at cheaper rates, the Lt Governor revealed.
In the current financial year, we have decided that at least 7.5 lakh farmers would be provided good seeds at a cost of Rs 16 crore. In this entire campaign, farmers are being encouraged to switch over to organic farming, he added.
Highlighting various initiatives undertaken by the Jammu and Kashmir Government to bring reforms in the horticulture sector, the Lt Governor observed that the UT administration has signed an MoU with NAFED through which 5500 hectares of high-density Apple, Walnut, Mango, and Litchi would be cultivated in the next five years. For this, an investment of about Rs 1700 crore will be made.
Three cold storage clusters will also be set up at Kathua, North Kashmir and South Kashmir with an investment of Rs 500 crore which will provide more convenience to the farmers.GI tagging of regional products is being done to further empower the farmers through effective marketing of their products. The quality of many of our products like Saffron, Walnut, Cherry, Strawberry, Plum, Almond, and Apricot is no less than those produced in other countries. Kashmir’s Saffron was launched in Dubai in December after GI tagging. The world market was dominated by the Iranian Saffron, but now Kashmir’s Saffron is making its mark in the global market, remarked the Lt Governor.
Underscoring the reformative measures taken by the Government for the sustainable development of the agriculture sector, the Lt Governor observed that the Government is focused on increasing the income of farmers and providing employment to more and more youth in collaboration with the administration and scientists, researchers related to agriculture.
To promote agriculture and horticulture in Jammu and Kashmir, this year’s budget has been increased to Rs 2008 crore, which is Rs 695 crore more than the previous year, he added.
Agricultural Universities of Jammu and Kashmir are being roped in for promoting food processing units and agriculture-related start-ups. Despite the corona pandemic, scores of agricultural programmes have been organized in the past ten months. With the help of Krishi Vigyan Kendras, we are trying to reach every farmer to ensure the use of innovation and technology in agriculture and allied sectors, said the Lt Governor.
In order to take technology to the fields of farmers, it has been decided that this year, we will provide machinery worth Rs 65 crore to the identified 30,000 farmers, besides providing modern irrigation facilities to 25,000 farmers at a cost of Rs 91 crore.
Further, the state-of-the-art training will also be imparted to around 35,000 farmers to implement new experiments in agriculture with the changing environment for which provision of Rs 26 crore has been kept, he continued.
Speaking on the Skill development and Employment generation opportunities of rural youth, the Lt Governor said that this has been one of the focus areas of the J&K Government, for which special provision has been kept in this year’s budget. We have made a provision of Rs 74 crore to increase the capacity of cold storage as well as provide employment opportunities to our youth, he added.
The Lt Governor also stressed maintaining FPOs in every district for continuous market linkage for building a strong framework for farmer-industry connect, besides giving a determined push to agricultural entrepreneurship. The Lt Governor, in the concluding remarks, extended his appreciation towards the entire team of IFFCO and invited them to establish Liquid Nano Urea plant in J&K.’
Dr US Awasthi, Managing Director, IFFCO said Nano Urea (Liquid) is indigenously developed after many years of dedicated and sincere research of IFFCO’s Scientists and Engineers through a proprietary technology developed at Nano Biotechnology Research Centre, Kalol.
IFFCO Nano Urea Liquid has been found effective and efficient for plant nutrition. This increases the production with improved nutritional quality, besides having a positive impact on climate change and sustainable development, he added.