Union Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar visited Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) in Jammu and laid the foundation stone of Gene Bank and Cold Storage facility at Mega Seed Unit. Minister also visited Integrated farming system, newly developed laboratory of School of Biotechnology besides flagging off Beej Vahan to mark the launch of Rabi campaign at Mega Seed unit. He also inspected exhibition stalls laid by farmers, agri-startups and Krishi Vigyan Kendras of the University. The Minister said, he has seen a transformation in the agriculture sector in Jammu and Kashmir.
He informed that 1,58,000 crore rupees have been transferred in the bank accounts of 11 lakh farmers of India under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana whereas 1,723 crores have been transferred to the farmers of Jammu and Kashmir. However, the MSP announced recently for Rabi crops is almost 100 percent more than the cost of cultivation. The present Budget of Agriculture has also increased to 1,23,000 crore rupees which was 23000 crore rupee in 2014. The Minister appreciated the efforts of Central Government for formation of 10,000 Farmer Producer Organizations to strengthen 85 percent of Marginal and small farmers of India. Meanwhile, prestigious multi crore ICAR/ World Bank sponsored Institutional Development Plan (IDP) project was also launched during the function at Baba Jitto Auditorium of SKUAST.