J&K Can Become the Hub of Agri-Tech Startups: Dr. Jitendra Singh

Hub of Agri-Tech Startups: Dr. Jitendra Singh, the Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, stated on Sunday that Jammu and Kashmir have great potential to develop into a hub for agri-tech startups.

In Jammu and Kashmir, non-timber forest produce (NTFP) is in vast supply. Examples include guchis, mushrooms, and other medicinal plants.

According to the Union minister, the state Forest department and J&K Medicinal Plants Board should work together to address the production, sale, and marketing.

In order to establish a research center in Baderwah, the Ministry of Ayush has consented to contribute Rs 200 crores, he said.

According to the minister, government agencies working in various development fields like rural development, agriculture, and horticulture require ongoing support. He also stated that the Sher-e-Kashmir Agriculture University (SKUAST) Kashmir, sheep husbandry, and animal husbandry departments require a collaborative program with the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI), which finances and supports agri-based start-ups in the Union Territory.

“Prominent NGOs and research institutions working in the agricultural and related sectors should be involved in order to support these government entities. The government must establish a policy ensuring the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of regional horticultural and agricultural products including apples, rajma, and walnuts in order to create effective market connections. Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) and cooperatives need to be formalized to represent the farmers” said Singh.