Jammu and Kashmir is emerging as agri start-up hub: Dr Jitendra Singh

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New Delhi (28/01/2024): Jammu and Kashmir is emerging as agri start-up hub, said Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, they Republic  Day tableau at Kartavya Path depicting lavender farms of Bhaderwah is a testimony of J&K being nationally hailed as the birth place of “Purple Revolution” which is now being emulated in other Himalayan States like Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh as well as Nagaland.

He said the foundation of this Agri StartUp hub has been laid in the picturesque Bhaderwah town of district Doda in Jammu and Kashmir, where cultivation of lavender has been taken up on a large scale.

He recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in detail explained this success story in farming from district Doda, J&K in his “ Mann Ki Baat” broadcast and told the listeners about the small town of Bhaderwah where this experiment had been carried out as Aroma Mission by Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt of India.

This endeavour provides  India an alternate source to propel its economy, Dr Singh stated.

Over 3,000 flourishing lavender entrepreneurs from Bhaderwah have shown the youth of India a new and lucrative avenue of StartUp through agriculture which is an exclusive domain of this country and will contribute value addition to India’s future economic growth and realisation of PM Modi’s vision of “Viksit Bharat” by 2047, he said.

Addressing a Kisan Sammelan organised by CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine in Hiranagar, Kathua today, the Union Minister expressed delight at the recent depiction of lavender farms of Bhaderwah through a tableau on Kartavya Path in the national capital on the occasion of the Republic Day. Counting it as a success story, Dr Singh said that drawing inspiration from the Aroma Mission, the States of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Nagaland have now started cultivation of lavender.

The Minister informed that more than three thousand youth of J&K are engaged in this mission which has emerged as an avenue of self-employment as these youngsters are earning in lakhs.

Dr Singh underscored that this has been achieved due to the personal efforts of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and the government’s measures to provide all possible support, be it imparting training to the youth or ensuring industry linkages for lavender products or provision of other necessary logistical aid, to spur this revolution. Lavender-made products are sold in thousands in States like Maharashtra, fetching rich revenue for the producers, he informed.

The Minister recalled that it was Prime Minister Modi who gave a clarion call of Start up India, Stand Up India from the ramparts of historic Red Fort. Following the Prime Minister’s call, people joined the movement. As a result, the number of start-ups has now gone past 1.25 lakh from a mere 350 existing at the time, thereby placing India at number three spot in this field in the world, Dr Singh informed.

The Union Minister urged the youth to join the agri start-up ecosystem so that they can contribute to making value addition to the economy, and help in realising the national goal of making India a number one economy in the next 25 years of Amrit Kaal.

Calling for action, Dr Singh said the areas which are either unexplored or under-explored hold the potential of making value addition to the economy, adding that the role of Jammu and Kashmir- pioneered purple revolution will be of critical importance to make India a developed nation by 2047.

Talking about the measures taken for the safety and security of residents of border areas in Jammu and Kashmir, especially Kathua, the Union Minister informed that bunkers have been constructed for them so that they can take shelter from unprovoked firing from across the border. Earlier, these residents were left to fend for themselves. They would take shelter either in their relatives’ places or in the panchayat, he rued. Similarly, road connectivity has been improved in remote areas for ease of travel, Dr Singh added.

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