Union Minister reviews progress of agriculture sector in Leh

LEH, AUGUST 26: The Union Minister of the State Agriculture, Farmers Welfare and Panchayati Raj, Parshottam Rupala on his maiden visit of Leh district chaired a meeting with LAHDC, Leh and Agriculture allied departments at Council Secretariat Leh today and reviewed the Centrally Sponsored Schemes like PMKSY being implemented in the district.

The meeting was attended by all the Executive Councilors headed by Chief Executive Councilor, LAHDC, Leh Dorjey Motup and MP, Ladakh Thupstan Chhewang. All the HODs of allied departments and research centers headed by Deputy Commissioner Leh Avny Lavasa also attended the meeting.

CEC and MP Ladakh welcomed the Minister to Leh and apprised him about the structure and functions of Hill Council Leh since its inception in 1995. CEC, MP, Ladakh and EC Agriculture Tsering Wangdus raised major issues of Leh district including non release of funds under PMKSY despite GoI approving Rs 564 crore for Leh district last year. They sought earliest sanctioning of Rs 536 crore Seabuckthorn project for Leh, which stand submitted at center level, funds for procuring Milk Pasteurization Plant for Leh, pasture and fodder development and development of organic farming in the district.

Earlier, Chief Agriculture Officer Leh Tashi Tsethan briefed the meeting about the agriculture features of Leh district. He said that out of the total 45,000 Sq Kms area of district, only 10,000 hectare land is under crop area with proper irrigation facilities.

The Minister Parshottam Rupala gave patient hearing to all the major issues of Leh and said that prestigious schemes like PMKSY of GoI should reach to every district of nation and farmers of Ladakh must get due benefits from such schemes. He asked LAHDC, Leh to give the data of total cultivable land of Leh district which could be brought under crop area by developing new irrigation facilities under PMKSY and assured to inquire about the reasons for non release of funds for Leh under PMKSY. Regarding setting up of a vegetable mandi and market linkages for Leh, the Minister directed Agriculture department to work on introducing National Agriculture Market or eNAM in the district which is an online trading platform for agriculture commodities in India and also assured to send a team of market expert from his ministry to Leh.

Regarding pasture and fodder development and development of dairy industry in the district, Minister Rupala said that the ministry will approach TATA Pvt Ltd which has developed drones technique for agriculture which could be used in cultivation of fodder in Changthang area and also suggested few research centers of India which have developed suitable fodder seeds as per the climatic and geographical conditions. To meet the urgent need of Milk Pasteurization Plant for Leh, the Minister instructed LAHDC, Leh to submit a separate proposal and assured to follow it with concerned ministry. He also suggested Animal Husbandry Department to go for Sexed Semen Technique which is used to produce only female calf.

A fruitful discussion on Pashmina development, organic farming and Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana was also held.

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