Jammu: Seeking to make farming sectors in Jammu and Kashmir remunerative, the CPI-M on Thursday called for diversification of agriculture and horticulture on modern lines to boost rural economy and productivity in the state.
"There is need for diversification of agriculture and horticulture on modern lines to boost rural economy and productivity in the state. The farming sectors need to be made remunerative," CPI(M) state secretary and Kulgam MLA Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said.
Speaking during the debate on demand of grants for agriculture, horticulture and allied sectors in Legislative Assembly today, Tarigami said it was imperative to provide support to the farming community by exploring all possible marketing channels to make agriculture production remunerative which would improve living conditions of farmers.
He urged the government to ensure that farmers are provided quality agriculture inputs like improved seeds and standard fertilisers to give boost to agriculture production.
Tarigami said agriculture and horticulture sectors suffered a huge setback in the devastating deluge in September last year and the farmers were not in a position to repay their loans raised against their farming land and orchards.
"Horticulture being a major earning sector, measures must be initiated to make this sector remunerative and profitable," he said.
The CPI(M) leader demanded the government to procure second grade apples besides providing all possible support to ensure that quality fruit is produced.
Demanding enhancement in the slab of waiving off Kisan Credit Card (KCC) loans beyond Rs one lakh, he said the waiver would benefit lakhs of families who are directly or indirectly under tremendous pressure from the banks ahead of the end of financial year.
The CPI (M) leader said the government must prioritize speedy compensation to farmers and apple growers who suffered extensive damages due to floods and vagaries of weather.
"One fails to understand why the state government has forgotten the farming community and the people associated with the horticulture sector that have been the worst hit in floods. It becomes an obligation for the government to come to the support and succor of the farmers and orchardists as they form the backbone of the state's economy," he added.
Noting that the contribution of sheep and animal husbandry departments to the state's economy was significant, he said both the sectors have vast potential to grow in the geo-topographical conditions of the state.
"This department has been virtually neglected and must be overhauled," he said as he called for maximum exploitation of the economic and employment potential in these sectors.
He also demanded a maternity hospital to be set up at the district headquarters of Kulgam.