Srinagar: An interface of progressive organic farmers from the valley and scientists from the university’s organic group organized an interaction program at the Shalimar campus in which scientists and the farming community shared their views.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Nazir Ahmad Ganai chaired the session, besides Director of Extension, Prof. Dil Mohammad Makhdoomi, Director of Research, Prof. Sarfaraz Ahmad Wani, Dr. MY Zargar, Professor Emeritus and Professor Sheikh Bilal, former Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, also participated. The Honorable Vice Chancellor briefed the house on the need for organic farming, which is the slogan of the Prime Minister of India. SKUAST-K will hold the 7th Melain Seed Technology-Sale Exhibition with organic farming as the central theme, he said. The Honorable Vice Chancellor also briefed the house on the impact of the various varieties that have been developed by SKUAST-K and urged scientists to publish an atlas of varieties with their usefulness that could reach the farming community. In his address, Prof. Dil Mohammad Makhdoomi, Director of Extension, emphasized on natural farming and organic farming and brought home the number of progressive farmers dealing with the variety of organic products ranging walnut, almond, apple, honey and flowers. .
Professor Emeritus Dr. M.Y. Zargar discussed the prelude of organic agriculture to highlight the need for organic agriculture, its scope, potential and SKUUST-K’s strategies with regards to organic agriculture, especially in Gurez, which must be declared as a biological zone. The Vice-Chancellor said that any product coming from the Gurez region will be considered organic farming. Professor Sheikh Bilal, former Dean of Agriculture, while citing the example of Kargil buckwheat which is grown organically, informed that the same can also be grown in Kashmir division.
While exchanging their views and ideas, the scientists briefed the farmers on the latest technological developments to boost the organic sector in the region. The valley’s leading organic farmers have appreciated the support of the Varsity, giving them the technical know-how and guiding them to success. Farmers shared their experience and informed scientists about bottlenecks and difficulties encountered in the sector. Mr. Sajad, an arborist growing apple trees, wanted to scale up the use of biological control agents, ie biopesticides, to manage the pest problem in organic orchards. He informed that the organic apple has achieved a higher price in the national market. Mr. Khurshid Ahmad Wani, a member of the biological group, also asked the scientists to come up with biological measures to control red mites and scabies.