JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir’s oil industry would be witnessing a significant transformation with implementation of multifarious initiatives under Holistic Agriculture Development Program (HADP) by the Agriculture Production Department.
The recent release of final report by the Apex Committee, headed by Dr. Mangla Rai, Former DG ICAR, has charted out the roadmap for implementation of 29 projects under HADP. Significantly, among the approved projects, promotion of oilseed cultivation has been given due consideration. The Oil seed project included several interventions aimed at increasing oilseed production and productivity, with an estimated annual output worth ₹ 1290 crore.
Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture Production Department, Atal Dulloo, reiterated that Jammu and Kashmir’s oil industry is about to receive a significant boost. The department will be implementing a multifaceted initiative aimed at promoting oilseed cultivation in the region with a project outlay of ₹ 31.00 crore. This three year project is expected to create more job opportunities and contribute towards overall economic growth of the region.
Pertinently, oilseed production is an essential sector of agriculture in India, contributing significantly to the country’s economy. India is one of the largest producers of oilseeds in the world, with an annual production of around 37-38 million metric tons. However, despite this, India is the largest importer of vegetable oils followed by USA and China.
Jammu and Kashmir is known for its diverse agro-climatic conditions that provide a suitable environment for cultivation of various crops, including oilseeds. To promote oilseed cultivation in the region, the J&K government has taken several initiatives under the Holistic Agriculture Development Program (HADP). The government intends to bring 210 Th Ha under oilseed cultivation from the current 140 Th Ha over the next three years. About 202.50 Th Ha shall be covered under rapeseed and mustard cultivation and 7.50 Th Ha shall be covered under sesame seed cultivation.
Besides, 70,000 Ha of additional areas shall be covered in potential oilseed districts like Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Udhampur, Rajouri, Reasi, Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama, Budgam, and Ganderbal and districts like Shopian, Bandipora, Ramban, and Doda, by utilizing fallow lands, culturable waste lands and leveraging increased cropping intensity apart from promoting intercropping systems.
More than 50% of the net sown area in Jammu division is rain-fed. Therefore, this project aims to promote crop diversification by cultivating sesame seed as a Kharif crop in Kandi and rain-fed areas of Jammu division. The total requirement of edible oils in the UT is ₹ 14.20 lakh quintal, whereas the UT produces only 3.36 lakh quintal. Hence, this initiative is crucial for region’s food security and economic growth.
The Union Territory (UT) is all set to witness a massive transformation in the agriculture sector with implementation of a ground-breaking project that promises to increase oil seed production and create employment opportunities.
The interventions, which included providing subsidized seeds and fertilizers, increasing the seed replacement rate and adopting innovative technologies like INM/IPM and micro irrigation, are aimed at boosting oil seed production from 11.20 lakh quintal to 25.20 lakh quintal annually, and productivity from 8 quintal per Ha to 12 quintal per Ha. This will also result in a significant increase in production of edible oils from 3.36 lakh quintal to 9.07 lakh quintal. The project is expected to reduce the deficit in oil seed production by 35% and substantially decrease the outflow of foreign exchange due to oilseed imports.
As part of the project, farmers will receive 50% assistance with a subsidy ceiling of ₹4000/- per quintal for purchasing high-yielding varieties of mustard and rapeseed. Similarly, 50% subsidy with a ceiling of ₹8000/- per quintal will be provided to beneficiaries for procuring hybrid rapeseed, mustard, and improved varieties of sesame seed.
Additionally, to improve the seed replacement rate of oil seeds, 50% subsidy with a ceiling of ₹2500/- per quintal will be provided for producing foundation and certified seeds to boost productivity and promote area expansion.
To further increase cultivation, 11,200 Ha will be brought under cluster cultivation of oil seeds, with 50% incentives extended up to ₹5000/- per Ha under cluster demonstrations and up to ₹7000/- per Ha under front-line demonstrations to meet all input costs for the cultivation of mustard, rapeseed, sesame, and linseed.
The project also included the provision of essential production inputs like gypsum, pyrite, lime, supply of azobacter, rhizobium, etc., PP chemicals, bio pesticides, insecticides and bio agents at 50% subsidy, up to a maximum ceiling of ₹750/- per Ha.
As a significant boost to automation, 300 power-operated spray pumps will be distributed at 50% subsidy with a maximum subsidy ceiling of ₹10000/- per unit and 180 power weeder/seed drill/multi-crop planter/multi-crop thresher, etc., will be distributed at 50% subsidy with a maximum ceiling of ₹75000/- per unit. The project also envisages establishment of 150 borewells and 150 sprinkler systems to upgrade the irrigation system.
Additionally, under post-harvest management, 50% incentive will be provided on the establishment of 70 oil mills with filter press, 30 oilseed extractors, and two branding and marketing units.
The project is expected to lead to a net increase in the return to farmers by 10 to 12% and a reduction in input costs by 15 to 20%, besides creating 7800 jobs and 300 enterprises. This ambitious project is a significant step towards transforming the agriculture sector in the UT, and its success will contribute towards overall economic growth of the region.