Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha addressed the 25th Foundation Day celebration of SKUAST-Jammu at Baba Jitto Auditorium on Wednesday.
In his address, the Lt Governor congratulated the Vice Chancellor, faculty members and students on the occasion.
He highlighted the reforms introduced in 2020 to revamp SKUAST-Jammu to meet modern workforce requirements in Agriculture & Allied Sectors, to contribute in entrepreneurship-driven research and to develop a strong inter-disciplinary ecosystem.
In the last three years, the University has achieved several milestones. It has focused on designing a viable and sustainable innovation ecosystem in Agriculture & Allied domain, along with three new faculties in Agricultural Engineering, Dairy Technology and Horticulture & Forestry, to stimulate the synergies between latest technologies, skills and research for rapid structural changes in farming, he said.
“Agriculture is the most important and sensitive sector for the economy and vital to the survival of humanity. To tackle a wide range of impacts on people’s lives due to diverse challenges worldwide, Agriculture Universities must be connected to the global nervous system to quickly adopt the latest knowledge,” the Lt Governor.
At SKUAST Jammu, the Lt Governor shared the policy reforms and technological interventions made in the last few years to rejuvenate the Agriculture and allied sectors.
Holistic Agriculture Development Program (HADP) has brought a culture change in farming, agriculture innovation, to acquire and apply knowledge. It has stimulated engagement among change agents to establish a full-fledged agri-business incubation centre for new startups, the Lt Governor said.
He said the knowledge-research capital of SKUAST should be tapped to further strengthen the 29 projects being implemented under HADP, to develop mechanism to acquire tools to solve tomorrow’s problems for ensuring food security, nutrition and sustainable management of natural resources.
The Lt Governor impressed upon the Agriculture scientists and Universities to adopt a whole-farm approach and work on new technology and farm innovation to create a competitive advantage for J&K and the country to build a sustainable future for the world.
G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration has made it clear that climate-resilient crops, accelerated innovations and investment to increase productivity, reducing waste will be the top priority for food security and bringing transformation in the lives of farmers, the Lt Governor said.
Sustainable and Climate-Smart-Agriculture are the way forward. We must motivate farmers to adopt niche, less water-intensive and high-value crops, he said.
The Lt Governor encouraged young scientists to look for new opportunities, new interventions and inventions for sustained growth of ecological capital, maintain harmony between the market and the soil and ensure that the agriculture sector continues to serve as a strong base for our development.
The Lt Governor also highlighted the endeavors of the UT Administration for creating better market linkage to the farmers and promoting diversification, allied activities and high-density farming.
70 percent of J&K’s population is dependent on agriculture and allied sectors. Our dedicated focus on training, access to extension services, financing and marketing institutions are benefiting the farming community. It is being ensured that the financing benefits reach the farmers and the youth and women engaged with the sector, he added.
The Lt Governor emphasised on assessing the progress achieved in programmes like Kisan Sampark Abhiyan, identifying the gaps and taking corrective measures in this regard. It should be ensured that more farmers are registered on Daksh portal, he added.
He also lauded the significant contribution of SKUAST-Jammu to the G20 Summit and asked the University to prepare a roadmap for the next 25 years.
Dr. B N Tripathi, Vice-Chancellor SKUAST-Jammu highlighted the remarkable achievements of the University and underlined the importance of the Holistic Agricultural Development Program in transforming agriculture.
Earlier, the Lt Governor inaugurated various facilities at the University including Silver Jubilee Park, Apartment and Faculty Club and unveiled the Rajat Jayanti Smarak to mark its 25th Foundation Day. He also launched the Green Education Program, International Helpdesk and Academic Management System (AMS) Portal.
On the occasion, the former employees of the SKUAST-Jammu were felicitated for their dedicated service to the University. Publication on Startups success stories of SKUAST-Jammu, International Helpdesk Brochure and Commemorative Souvenir were also released.
Bharat Bhushan, Chairman District Development Council, Jammu; Shailendra Kumar, Principal Secretary, Agriculture Production Department; Vice Chancellors of various Universities, HoDs, scientists, faculty members, staff and students were present